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Last Minute Christmas Budgeting

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Family, friends, neighbours, the doctor’s surgery, even your local corner shop has gotten into the spirit of this festive season. You on the other hand, well, you’re still just getting over Halloween. And by you, I actually mean me! One minute there are spider webs and skeletons everywhere and then with a blink of the eye… bam…. Christmas somehow turned up. Let’s stay calm and focus, it’s not too late regardless of what the mothers are saying to you in your playgroup, you are not unorganised you are super busy! And let’s be honest we like that little bit of last minute frantic shopping; otherwise it wouldn’t feel like Christmas. The problem is, when you are in a rush, you spend more. So here are a few tips to get you through the last minute shopping and or overspending. Make a list – and Check it Twice Make a list of all your family and friends and determine how much money you can realistically afford to spend. Then, designate a set portion of the total amount for each person on your list. No matter what, stick to your initial budget – don’t spend money you don’t have. Pay in Cash One way to force yourself to stick to your budget is to pay for all your gifts with cash. Withdraw the total amount you originally set for yourself. When that money is gone – Christmas shopping time is over. Paying with credit is easy to loose track of exactly how much money you’ve spent. An extra $10 here, $5 there may not seem like a big deal but actually adds up. Shopping Alone Believe it or not people who shop alone actually spend less money than those who shop with friends and family. Firstly a shopping buddy may cause distractions and not allow you to focus on the aim of the game, but also may pressure you to buy things that are not necessary. Don’t Buy Presents for Yourself. Focus people….focus…it’s about buying presents for others to joyfully unwrap on Christmas Day. This is not about you it’s about giving not receiving. If you do see something that makes you feel complete think about the Boxing Day sales – and if that does nothing phone a friend. Yes people phone a friend or family member and help them out by suggesting what you want for Christmas. These, are the start of a sane shopping experience this Christmas. My other tip is get your shopping done before the school holidays begin, because shopping centers are going to be out of control!