Can you taste that? It’s the taste of champagne, late night present wrapping and way too much Christmas ham – it’s almost the Silly Season, and we’re definitely not ready. But, we will be, with these tips for coordinating the chaos and overcoming the crazy to make this year our best yet.
Plan your finances
There’s nothing like frantic Christmas shopping, event planning and end of year celebrations to seriously blow your budget. Thankfully, with a little careful planning, you can prevent the ‘Silly Season’ from sending you too silly.
Budgeting your Christmas spending – and actually sticking to said budget – is the key to making it through the holiday season with your bank account intact. But how? Time is truly of the essence, so if you haven’t started allocating your spending, do it!
Forecast your cash flow as best you can, factoring in every gift you’ll need to buy, every event you’ll need to shop for and every ‘unexpected’ expense that could come your way – that way, you won’t get to Boxing Day and get a nasty surprise when you check your spending account.
When it comes to saving up, opt for a plan that will do the hard work for you. Set up an automatic transfer to an electronic savings account (say, $20 a week) and you’ll be amazed how much money you accumulate without even trying to. Check out this article we ran a few Christmases ago for more tips.
Plan your shopping
Once upon a time, the big sales only came after the Christmas shopping was all done and dusted. Not anymore. Online shopping hasn’t just put a world of products right at our fingertips – literally – but it’s also meant mega sales are far more common.
Black Friday… Cyber Monday… Click Frenzy… Vogue’s Online Shopping Night… all four fall between now and Christmas, and give you ample opportunity to seriously cut the cost of your Christmas shopping list – provided you’ve carefully planned what, and who, you’re shopping for.
Even when the sales aren’t on, there are a number of ways you can save money while online shopping. Honey, the Google Chrome extension, searches the internet for the latest coupon codes and automatically applies them at checkout for you – if Honey says you’ve already got the best deal, you probably have. Shping, on the other hand, helps you shop in person by scanning barcodes and telling you useful information like where it’s made and whether it’s been recalled – in return, you get Shping coins that you can cash directly into your bank account. Meanwhile, ShopBack can score you savings and money back when you shop online!
Plan your time
It’s no secret that things can get crazy in the lead up to Christmas – by the time December 25 rolls around, we can’t usually remember much of the last three months. But if the true spirit of the holiday season is to spend time with our loved ones, it makes sense to carve out some family time amongst the chaos.
Before things get too busy, sit down and pencil in some family ‘chill’ days – no fancy lunches or special trips around town, just days at home where you do nothing but enjoy one another’s company. If you’ve got visiting family, try not to plan out every minute with activities. Sure, you’re bound to do the odd few here and there, but don’t stress about making sure everyone is kept busy at all times – it’s supposed to be a holiday after all.