Wednesday, 12 September 2012


Okay, once again I am guilty of uttering the "C" word at the end of summer, but think on this - Christmas is on the 25th December every year, and every year we seem to get caught out thrashing the credit card in December and broke in January (and perhaps February and March too).
The average Christmas spend per family is around £600 and as this is more than can be managed in one month for most of us we need to start planning now.
Check your cupboards for last year's Christmas puddings - they'll probably still be in date! Well, it's one thing less to buy! Make a list of everything you usually buy in the way of food, start thinking what you can do without (those boxes of dates that no-one eats for example) and start buying a couple of items a week. 
Count up all the people you have to buy gifts for, set a budget for each present and start picking up items that are on special offer now. Search your cupboards for presents to "re-gift" - my other half always gets at least one scarf and one pack of sports socks every year - something has to go! This tip comes with a very big warning though - do make a note of who gave you these presents. I was once given a very unusual bottle of hand cream that I had given a relative 5 years before! Needless to say, it had gone off! So if you cannot remember who gave you the item, list it on Ebay now and sell it to get some "present money".
So re-gifting takes planning; sort your presents out in the New Year, label those items you cannot use, with post-it notes saying who gave them to you and then pack them away for next Christmas (or for birthdays if the gift is not "Christmassy").
As of today, Christmas is 103 days away, which is really not very long to buy a stack of food, decorations and presents! Get planning!

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