I know the schools don’t seem to be long back after the October break but I have already noticed that a few of our larger retailers have now set aside some of their floor space for Christmas decorations, cards, and wrapping paper. A quick check on my calendar tells me that by the time you are reading this there will be something like sixty shopping days until Christmas.
I say ‘something like’ because not all shops open on a Sunday and I know that many of you like to have all of your shopping done and wrapped long before Christmas Eve so that you can relax for a bit. Or spend the time writing cards for those you forgot to include in your first list!
I know that I write this kind of story at round about this time every year but I make no apologies for doing so because my post box every January is still full of emails asking me questions about getting out of debt from people who spent too much over Christmas.
So now is the time to start planning for this year’s events. Make a list of the people you need to buy presents for and to start to think of ideas now, and give yourself a rough budget for each one.
Once you’ve set that budget try to stick to it where possible, and if you do go over on one present then try to shave a little bit off another so that you stick to your overall budget.
Make another list of all of the other things you’re going to have to buy over the festive season, whether it’s new clothes for the parties you are likely to attend, presents for the people who are throwing these parties, or the fact that you might need to spend a night or two in a hotel somewhere if you’re going to an event that you can’t get home from.
It tends to be all of these sorts of things that people forget and that blow holes in even the most carefully thought-out budget.