To Christmas spend or not to Christmas spend, that really is the question - especially in 2020!

How’s December going for everybody? This year I feel relatively chilled, but this is mainly down to the fact that I actually took my own advice and budgeted for it. I also planned out how much I was going to spend on who and appear to have stuck to it! I do think some of this has been easier due to the restrictions and not being able to get to the shops as much though.

I know I’ve said many times before but the route to a financially successful anything, including Christmas, is the planning.

Using your budget planner to incorporate your Christmas spending is the key to your plan materialising. I check my budget monthly and adapt the plan when I know that I ‘need’ a new top or alike. Isn’t it easier if you get to November knowing that your Christmas spending pot is just sat there waiting to be spent? Don’t forget to, not only include your gift budget, but also your food (don’t forget those sneaky boxes of chocolates) and drinks. Whether that be alcoholic or not, the majority of us take time off over the festive period and will be consuming so much more than a normal average week*. I actually think that the alcohol element of the shopping is the part that racks up the cost. I usually plan a bulk alcohol shop via a mix of Costco and a supermarket when they have a 25% off 6 offer. That way I can cater for all and am not paying full price!

I have done a quick browse to see what’s around for ease I haven’t checked all providers and couldn’t tell you which is the best offer at the moment. For me, buying what you already intended to and at a discount is win-win. 

Another Christmas shopping tip - do your food order online where you can. This will stop those additional non essentials jumping into your trolley. Not only will our bank accounts be appreciative, most likely our waistlines too, ha!  This is more of a 365 day of the year tip but especially at this time of year..!

How have you found 2020? Without speaking about the obvious, have you chosen this year to carry on, stop or start any traditions? Does anybody still send Christmas cards to friends? I have personally handwritten a card for each and every one of my clients at the weekend (apologies if I have missed anyone), as the years go by, the more challenging this is becoming but always something that I intend to do. I think, as a client, it’s nice to receive that personal touch. I also try send a handful of gifts too, to those that have particularly supported the business throughout the year. I think being thankful and showing appreciation is important.

Nobody ever got hurt by being kind did they..?

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Christmas spending is not the only thing that puts strain on us over the festive period though. I think the part about Christmas that I do, and always have struggled with the most, is the emotional strain. Who to get what, will it be enough and will they be appreciative? Also who to see on what day; how to prioritise my large and split family? 

Does anybody else have these struggles? 

I actually think that I just find this time of year so much more emotional, full stop. The early dark evenings have such an impact and even more so at the moment, considering there isn’t much to do, makes me want to snuggle up and get into bed at 6pm, haha.  

All I can say is that I am really looking forward to next year and am hopeful that after this VERY strange one, that we are able to enjoy ourselves and live our lives a little more freely.

I hope you all have a fab festive period and I will be back in the New Year to check in with your new year budgets and to give you lots of my new, strategised financial planning tips. 

Thanks for checking in, 

Much love, CW x

*please drink responsibly.

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