When someone mentions the word Christmas, what is your reaction?

It may still be over 6 months till the big day, but if you do a little bit of preplanning now you can turn the stress of Christmas into something easy and even fun!  

It’s all about breaking it down into small steps and start taking action as soon as possible.

My top 10 list for Christmas planning:

1.  Identify the people you want to give to

2.  Estimate an amount to spend on each person

3.  Work out the total you want to spend – if total is too much, go back and reduce estimates on each person

4.  Work out how long till Christmas and how much you need to save per payday

5.  Review your budget to identify where to get extra $$ from

6.  Setup a separate Christmas bank account and setup a direct    debit each payday

7.  Get a notebook to capture present ideas

8.  Brainstorm ideas for presents for each person

List ideas of what they might want or need, you may be having a   conversation with them and they mention something like I could really use this, or i really want this - list it down

9.  Try and buy a couple of presents each month – look for sales and the one day websites are fantastic too. Check out this great website listing all the one day type websites and deals http://www.loveonedaysales.co.nz/

Also think about using your loyalty points – a yearly magazine subscription starts from 210 Flybuys points?

And to reduce costs even more, look at utilising your creative skills and make them something.

10. Buy Christmas Club vouchers

Make the most of special deals, personally I love Woolworths Christmas Club – you can use the vouchers right throughout December and January – I didn’t use all mine up at Christmas but sure came in handy buying the food and alcohol for the summer camping holiday– all with an extra 5% off. A $10 voucher each week till Christmas will give you $270 if you start this week!

Also the good old Warehouse has a Christmas Club too - http://www.thewarehouse.co.nz/red/content/homepage/customer-services/christmas-club

If you start planning Christmas now, when it gets to those last few mad weeks before Christmas, filled with lunches, parties, and shops crammed with people – you can sit back and relax and start thinking about enjoying your Christmas holidays.

So what is the one thing you can do this week to help get you started?

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