You may not even be ready for Christmas 2017 yet, but by shopping well, you can get your personal finances in order for next year's festivities already.
It can be hard to keep to a budget during the holiday season, with gift-giving, food, and unexpected expenses spiraling debt out of control. Last-minute shopping can add up significantly, and if you're charging gifts to credit instead of paying for them with cash, you may be stuck with a post-Christmas credit hangover, too. With careful planning, however, you take advantage of the forthcoming sales to prepare for next year.
It might seem ridiculous to start planning for Christmas 2018, but if you're on a tight budget, doing the groundwork now can bring rewards next year. Of course, there's no way for you to see into the future and grab the toys that will be trending twelve months from now, but you can buy festive accessories and non-specific gifts now. For example, the prices of gift-wrap and decorations are slashed after Christmas Day, and often before. The January sales offer perfect opportunities to pick up many gifts for next to nothing, with the added benefit of fewer consumers in stores.
The festive season can leave you struggling with debt, and it can be a difficult time for sticking to a budget. Planning in advance can help reduce the pressure for 2018 and make the season that bit more enjoyable. If you're not ready to start gift shopping now for next year, an alternative is to begin a Christmas fund by putting a little away each month. This means that when the next festive season begins, you won't have to dip into your savings to buy the gifts you want.
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