2 December 2016

How to save money Christmas Shopping

Every Christmas my money seems to disappear before I even have time to realise I have it. I'm left mortified on Christmas Eve with declined cards, presents still to buy and time repidly running out. But this year, I've been pulling out all the stops to get the Christmas shopping done, and still have some money left over to pop in my savings...


I've been saving to go travelling in 2017 for most of the year and I'm so, so close to my goal but a slip up this Christmas would most likely set me back a couple months. Christmas shopping is half the fun of Christmas, I love giving presents more than actually recieving them, so just getting by on the present front was never really an option. In early November I developed a plan that would get me to Christmas with the best presents to give out and still have money left over to put in my travel jar.

So I thought I'd share a few tips with you!

Know your monthly expenses


This is something I make important to monitor every month. I know what money I have coming in, what I have going out (rent, phone bill etc.) and what I'd like to put away each month. Then any extra money that I have left over is for social engagements, blog expenses and most importantly Christmas shopping! Knowing your monthly expenses is a key part in not spending more than you have.

Make a Plan to help you budget


I am someone who benefits from visual representations. As I work out what I'm spending my money on each month, writing it down helps to give it a more physical being. It's so easy to get lost in the world of credit cards and online banking where money isn't tangible. I like to draw charts and calendars (lame, I know but it works) that visually represent where my money is coming from and going to. Doing this makes it so easy to plan for Christmas shopping and produce a reasonable budget to work with.

Budget per person


So you've got your budget for Christmas, but chances, are if you just go gung-ho and shop till you drop, that budget is going straight out the window and all your hard work figuring it out is gone! This year I divided up my money into piles to represent each person that I wanted to buy for. I've got X amount for Mum, X amount for Dad and XX amount for the beau. This even made the shopping easier too!


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Know what gifts you need


Going shopping with an open mind is great but also particularly dangerous. Especially at Christmas where you're shopping for multiple people at the same time. Before you leave, take half an hour to write down some idea's of what you'd like to get for each person. If you can, try and jott down  the shops where you might find what you're looking for.

You could even have a little browse online first, occaisionally stores will do deals online that aren't available in store. You may even be rewarded for getting your shopping done online, for instance Debenhams often offers £5 gift cards to customers who use their Click and Collect service. And most websites offer 10% discounts for your first online shop.

CHECK OUT ALSO - GUIDE TO ONLINE SHOPPING

Alternatives to main stream shopping


Something I'm doing this year, is making a few of my gifts. If you're short on money or even just fancy your hand at something creative, DIY presents are a great idea. Supplies and materials can be bought super cheap, particularly on Amazon and Ebay. Pinterest and Not on the Highstreet is a great place to gather up idea's some cool idea's.

What says "Merry Christmas, I love you" more than something you made with your own hands!

Know when the sales are!


From working in retail, I can tell you that all the shops want to do at this time of year is sell their stuff. To which they will do almost anything they can to do that, most likely put it on sale. So chances are, that hat and gloves set you're looking at buying for your second cousin might be on sale next week. If stock is particularly low, then go ahead and buy but if there's still quite a bit left, it might do you good to hold out a little!

Do you really need that?


I know what it's like, when you're grabbing your last few presents and you see something you like, you think "oh why not, Christmas present for me!" or "oh look, it's on sale, it's fate!" I am guilty of that, every year I buy myself a couple of Christmas presents before I've even finised my own shopping and I'd guarantee that you've done that too!

But do you really need that? Have you not already got something similar? What if you buy that now and then Santa pops one in your stocking on Christmas morning?

I know it's all to easy to whip out your debit card for yourself when you're so in the swing of doing it for other people, but you don't really need that. Honest! And if you think you really do, pop it down and see if you're still thinking about it a couple hours, right before you head home. If you are then sure why not, one treat, but I'd put money on you forgetting all about it!

So far, these little tips are working wonders and my Christmas shopping is going fairly smoothly. I'm buzzing like a little creative butterfly with all my DIY idea's and the potential blog posts that could come of it. And I've not run out of money or had to access my savings.

If you're looking to spend a little less this year, let me know your tips and tricks in the comments below! I'm interested to see if you have anything that I never even thought of! 

Love always,
Melissa


THE VAULT OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT

THE VAULT OF CHRISTMAS' PAST

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  1. I love these tips. Especially the one about allocating a budget per person and having gifts in mind already. I think not having ideas on budget or gifts definitely end up with me spending more than necessary. Thanks for sharing.

    Sarah's Abode -xx

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, so glad you liked them. Totally agree, going in knowing exactly what you're after and how much you're spending is the best way to stick to a budget!
      -M

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