You know what will kill your Christmas spirit faster than The Grinch? Getting a notice from your bank that your credit card is overdrawn. Cramming all your gift-buying into the last few weeks of December isn’t just a recipe for a mental breakdown, it can also lead to overspending as you buy the most convenient pressies at the most expensive prices.
The answer is to start for shopping for your Christmas gifts now. Yep, we said now. (And yep, we know it’s only September and mince pies aren’t even on the supermarket shelves yet.) But starting to stockpile a Chrissy gift haul early actually makes a whole lot of sense. Here’s why:
You can spread the cost out over three months.
Instead of putting all the pressure on your December pay packet to cover your Christmas expenses (with all that festive season socialising, it’s probably already shaping up to be the most expensive month of the year), start to shop for gifts as early as October. This means you can take a smaller chunk of cash from each monthly deposit and you’re less likely to wake up with a nasty credit card hangover on Boxing Day.
You don’t have to settle for a ho-hum present.
Fact: When you leave gifts to the last minute, bad things happen. You make hasty decisions, your judgement becomes be impaired by stress and panic, and you start thinking, ‘Yeah, I reckon Mum will totally like a hot pink, diamante-studded laundry basket.’ But when you have time up your sleeve, you can mull things over, you can listen for subtle hints and you can totally ace every gift on your list.
You’ll probably end up spending less.
One perk of having time on your side is you can jump on any sales and you won’t have to pay last-minute express delivery fees. Lots of hardtofind sellers offer fast courier but it’s a bit more exy than their regular free shipping option – so getting in early will save you precious dollars. Dollars that you can then spend on yourself!
How to ace the Christmas gift stockpile.
1. Make a list of everyone you need to buy for. Check it twice.
2. Decide how much you can afford to spend on each person and make a budget. (It’s a good idea to keep a little buffer in your budget for unexpected additions!)
3. You might want to also tally up your other Christmas costs, like that giant turkey, your party season outfits and the office Kris Kringle, and add them to your budget.
4. Divide your budget in thirds so you know how much to put aside each month. Then you’re ready to start shopping!