How to Save Time, Stress and Money by Starting Your Christmas Planning Now

Christmas seems to be synonymous with stress and spending these days, but there is a way to make this Christmas calmer, happier, cheaper and stress-free, and that is to start doing something about it as early as possible.  Follow our tips to start your Christmas planning early to save as much money, time and stress as possible.


Yes, I know, it is July, but if you want to have a stress free and low cost Christmas, the time to start is now.  If you're someone who picks up Christmas presents all year and has everything wrapped and ready by the end of September, this isn't the post for you.

But if your December is more crazy than calm, with the budget of Benefit Street but the shopping list of Billionaire Babies, read on.

Be Realistic

Sit down with a coffee and write a list of everyone you will want or need a Christmas present for.  Then go through and assign a budget for their gift.  Make this as realistic as possible asking yourself what you can actually afford, and definitely not taking into account what they might spend, what you gave them last year or what they gave you.

Do not spend beyond your means.  Starting early means you have plenty of time to find - or make - the perfect gift, even if you only spend a fiver on each person.

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Shop Now

Whenever you see something that would suit someone on your list, nab it.  It doesn't matter if it comes from Poundland or the charity shop, if you think they'd love it, grab it and stash it away.

A quick note on that, have a designated cupboard or other space for the presents you start gathering, or you risk not being able to find them in a few months time when you actually need them.  Not that this has ever happened to me, of course...

As you buy, add the details to your list and keep track of your expenditure.  Be sure to stick to your budget, and even save where you can, taking advantage of deals and sales over the next few months.

The July sales are the perfect place to start shopping for bargains - and the next 12 months of birthday presents too if you want to be even more organised.  They may take place in July but often stock from any time of year will appear in these giant sales.

Ditto for big events like Amazon Prime Day.  This 2 day sale bonanza starts tonight and offers bargains in every department.  Beauty buys, toys and games, tech and gadgets are often the best bargains, but there is literally everything available.


For extra brownie points you could wrap as you buy too.  Just make sure you label - or use colour-coded paper for each person - and mark everything down on your list as you go.  That way you avoid any panicked last minute trips to the shops because you can't remember what you got for whom.


Start Saving

Of course, Christmas isn't just about the presents and you will have significant other expenses to cover, such as tickets to your works do or New Year's Eve party venue, meals out, new party outfit, panto tickets, days out with the kids, and that's before you even get to all the extra food and drink for your Christmas celebrations.

The best way to cover all those costs is to start saving a little at a time now.  Open an easy access savings account as you will need to take money out in just a few months time and start stashing a little away each week or month.

Cut back on optional expenditure like coffees, bought lunches, take-aways, even your daily newspaper (get it online instead) and put the money you save into your savings account or even a jam jar.  It will soon add up.

Add in savings you can make every week at the supermarket, move your bank account to one that offers an incentive for switching, and change your energy supplier and you will have a good pot of money by December.

Related posts:

How to Save Money at the Supermarket
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Make More

There is also plenty of time to start thinking about how to make more money.  Whether you have time to take on an extra job, have lots of stuff to declutter, or just a bit of time each week to do surveys in front of the telly, there are plenty of ways to make relatively easy extra money before December.

And don't forget there is still a short time left to make your PPI claim - use this free method to reclaim PPI with no charges.

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Yep, I went for the C word in July, but use these tips to start planning now and you will save more time, stress and money this Christmas than ever before.  Best of all, you'll get to January debt-free!

But for me, the very best thing about getting Christmas organised early is that I can sit back and enjoy the true spirit off the festive season without frantically scrabbling to get it all done.  I'll dedicate myself to Christmas thoughts in a heatwave if it means I can spend December watching Christmas films snuggled up on the sofa with my girls, or listening to carol singers and admiring the Christmas lights.  Join us?

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