Festive Finances: Easy Ways to Get Yourself Organised For Christmas!

Some people shudder at the mention of Christmas in October. But while it is early- thinking about and planning for Christmas doesn't have to mean putting your tree up, or blasting festive music before we've even had Halloween! But with a limited amount of weeks left, it's worth thinking about your budget. Christmas is an expensive affair, you have decorations, gifts, cards, postage, travel costs and so much more to think about. But with the right planning it doesn't have to leave you in debt, or rushing around at the last minute panic buying. Here are some of the ways you can start getting organised and ready for the festive season now.

Non perishables and those with a longer shelf life such as biscuits, chocolate and alcohol can all be bought in advance. If you spot something that's a good deal or on sale while you're doing your regular weekly shop, pick it up. Put it away in a safe place for December, and you can effectively spread out the cost of a pricey Christmas shop. It helps to write up a Christmas food shopping list so you can tick things off over the weeks, this prevents you from forgetting what you've bought and buying twice. At the very least, jot down in your phone the things you already have.

Ask members of the household to chuck any loose change into a pot, this will all add up and you won't even miss it. If could be the shrapnel from your pockets, or you could throw in a pound or two if you spot one in your purse. Even if it's just a few pounds a week, come December you'll have a little stash of money that's bound to come in useful. To make things a little more interesting, you could even turn it into a forfeit game. For example, make it into a 'swear jar' or allow people to forfeit a chore for a set amount of money. Once you have your big pot of loose change, you don't even need to queue up in the bank any more to cash it in. Most supermarkets have coin machines where you can pour them right in, and they give you your money in notes and larger coins instantly. 

Hopefully you'll already have a savings account with a little money in it, just in case of any unexpected bills or household emergencies. But set up an additional account too, specifically for Christmas and other special occasions. You can do this online with your bank in a matter of minutes. Each time you get paid, transfer a little straight into it. This is useful as it keeps the money separate from your regular outgoings and main savings. Then in December you have a chunk of money set aside that you can spend guilt-free on Christmas.

Since it's still early on, any Christmas items you can spot online will be at a good price. Come late November and December and everything will be massively marked up. Take advantage of the off-season prices right now and buy things like decorations and accessories cheaper. If you know there are specific items that you're missing and need to buy this year, scour for them now. You might well find an amazing bargain.

Have you started planning for Christmas this year yet?