Christmas is nearly upon us. It's crazy to think how quickly a year can fly by, and for many it's the best time of the year. The bright lights, festive songs and cheerful atmosphere makes it a hugely thrilling time. Despite this, as it gets closer, it can begin to feel slightly stressful - especially if you have big plans for the day itself. From cooking to gifts, getting everything right and in order requires a lot of organisation. At OnBuy.com we have complied a list of four effective ways in which everyone can prepare for Christmas without feeling overwhelmed or over-stressed.
Christmas can be very expensive, with the Independent citing in 2016, that we will spend a staggering £54,000 each on Christmas over the course of our lives, whilst one in three prepare Christmas by relying on a credit card; amounting to nearly £11billion last year. We all know we rely on the power of a credit card, but the debt can rise uncontrollably if not controlled. To avoid this, there is only one simple solution: budget.
Think about who you are inviting to your Christmas bash. Set aside a certain amount of money for food depending on the amount of people - including the traditional trimmings and snacks. Once this is done, have a rough idea of what you plan to get for each person and then your expenditure will be defined by the quality/brand you seek in that product category. With regards to decorations, instead of splashing out on new ones, think about re-using stuff from previous years. Recycling can go a long way if well-kept over the years. If you do accidently over spend, you are encouraged to check out our Christmas debt guide as soon as possible.
Make a list of people you want to get a Christmas gift for, making sure you triple check you haven't left anyone off the list. Then go through each person and write down their interests. Once this is done, you will get a rough idea of the sort of things they would like. The next stage is research, use the internet to find products which best fits their interests and select a few possible options. Once you have assessed potential ideas, think about the price against the quality and appeal of the item. Go with the option that is mostly like to be used and appreciated but at the same time, cost-effective.
It can be a chaotic period, so ensure you thoroughly think about and write down any additional arrangements you may have to make for accommodating everyone. Do you have relatives coming from other parts of the country or abroad - if so - do you need to organise their travel arrangements? Also consult everyone to find out any specific dietary requirements such as any vegetarians, vegans or allergies. Another aspect which often gets overlooked is the concern of keeping the children entertained- do you have enough board games, toys Christmas films to keep them occupied throughout the day?
Instead of carelessly overspending on drinks, food, Christmas decorations and gifts - consider using all the cost-saving methods easily available to everyone. In major supermarkets and retailers try use the reward points you have accumulated on their respective loyalty schemes, to get a discount on your purchases. Likewise, if you have any gift cards that you have forgotten about then it is the ideal time to use them up. When shopping online, go on a merchants' website through an established cashback site, as they will give you a set % of your final spend value in cash or vouchers. The same notion is applicable to banks, many are now introducing cashback offers when you spend with retailers afflicted or partnering with them - so make sure you check.
Christmas is one of the most entertaining times of the year and it can be just that, with sufficient foresight and planning. The suggestions provided do not only provide the perfect template to achieve this but ensure no small detail is left. Most importantly, everyone is accounted for and having the best time possible.