Christmas Budget Tips

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It’s easy to go overboard at Christmas time. Budget’s get blown in favour of flashy presents, fancy food and cutesy trimmings; stress erupts because affording all these “necessities” can be a bit of a strain.
 It’s not called the silly season for nothing!
Because cutting back on Santa’s cookies and milk just isn’t the answer, keep your bank balance happy and the Christmas cheer coming with these handy tips to help you stick to your holy budget.

Set limits
First of all you need to decide how much you want to spend on each person and stick to it! This will avoid unnecessary additions to presents and keep your bank balance in the green. The best option is to take cash with you while out shopping, that way you’ll know exactly how much you’re spending and on what. It’s important to set limits so that once you’ve spent your allocated amount of cash, that’s it – you’re done and you can’t spend any more!

Make a shopping list
Now that you have your budget, try and come up with a list of ideas of what you could get each person. With something specific in mind you’ll spend less time browsing and less time spending. Go out with a clear idea of what you need to be bringing home.
Designate shopping times
Designating a specific time to go Christmas shopping will also mean you are less prone to browsing. Because your time is limited, you are more likely to stick to your list and come out the other side with what you need rather than an OTT collection of things. The more time you have the less likely you are to be decisive and budget conscious in your shopping. This is also a great way to get yourself in the Christmas spirit so pick a day and hit the shops.
Write down what you spend
As you head around the shops, take note of how much you’re spending and how close to your budget you are. When you’re paying with plastic, it’s easy to detach yourself from the figures and all those little extra odds and ends do add up.
Start now!
The earlier you start the better! Leading up to Christmas there are always sales so if you see something someone would like, buy it and put it away. Not only does this move along your Christmas shopping but you’re bound to pick up a few bargains. Around Christmas is an expensive time, so distil the blow by getting on to the present part in the present. Also the earlier you start, the sooner you can send off all your parcels to loved ones who live far away, whether it’s overseas or just cross country.
You may not realise it, but if you want your gifts to reach their destination in time for the big day, you’ll have to send them off before New Zealand Post’s closing dates. You’ve still got time; click to check out the full list of closing dates. Plus if you get organised now, not only could you save money and stress but you could also score a little extra! Every time you send a parcel from your local PostShop, keep your receipt and you can go in the draw to win a $10,000 Prezzy Card. So what are you waiting for? Entries close midnight on 24 December 2008, so get sending! Visit the New Zealand Post website to find out more…



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