So, this is Christmas… as the song goes. (Good old John Lennon!)
And I have carried out 98% of Christmas present shopping and wrapped about 80% of what I have bought. I’m feeling organised for the first time in years!
Food shopping is yet to be done (which reminds me, I must book my delivery slot!)
But have I spent hours traipsing around shops and shopping malls? Have I stressed myself out trying to juggle bulging bags whilst also trying to remember which car park the car is in?
Well, maybe once. But most of my shopping has been online… gasp! Yes, I have to confess to being one of ‘those’ people who are single handedly destroying the economy of high street shops.
Well, if I tried to do all of the Christmas shopping I need to do in High Street shops, it would;
a) Mean I would have to do 20 shopping trips as I cannot carry too much weight
b) Cost me a small fortune in diesel and parking as I live in the middle of nowhere
c) Physically break me more, with all of the walking and carrying involved, even if there aren’t too many bags or I use my wheely trolley
d) Mentally break me as I cannot cope with big crowds anymore
So basically, I am sticking to online shopping this year.
How much more or less has it cost though?
I budget for Christmas, starting before the previous Christmas has even happened! So I am currently saving for Christmas 2019, even though 2018 hasn’t even been and gone yet.
I use an online saving company called Park Christmas Savings. You can choose how much you want to save and in what format (vouchers, pre-paid credit cards, hampers, etc) and you pay monthly throughout the year so that by November Christmas is paid for and no debt to worry about after Christmas!
It has saved us so much in the last 3 years I have been doing it and I would highly recommend them!
So what about food?
Well, we also save up supermarket gift cards with Park, but in addition we try to save up our loyalty points. Often, supermarkets have a double up deal before Christmas where you can double up your points and exchange them for vouchers to use in store.
As a family of 4, we can save up to one whole week’s food shop at each of the 2 stores we have loyalty cards at within one year. With these doubled up, that’s January’s food sorted!
Budgeting and saving
It is so important to make sure you factor the cost of Christmas into your monthly budget. Don’t get surprised by big bills, or get weighed down by the debt you have built up come January.
Starting the New Year knowing you don’t have to dig your way out of debt is a great feeling and I hope the tips I have shared will help you all.
Have a very Happy Christmas and a Blessed New Year!
And remember, Jesus is the Reason for the Season!