Image courtesy of Bert Kaumann

Christmas may seem a very long way away, but for a lot of people it is the most expensive time of the year. This means that it can be a big cause of stress and people are more likely to borrow money. If you have borrowed money in the past, then it is wise to start by paying that off. The interest charged on loans is always more than you can get in a savings account and so by paying them off you will gain a lot more than by saving money. If you do not have a loan then it can be wise to star planning for Christmas.

It can be a really good idea to think about how much money you will be spending at Christmas. Consider who you buy gifts for and how much you spend and then think about how much you spend on food and other things such as tree, decorations, transport and drink. You should then have a fairly accurate picture of how much you will need to save up in order to afford it.

When you see that figure it could help you to understand why it is important to start saving up early. Many people do not actually realise how much Christmas costs them but end up overspending and then getting into debt. It can be very difficult to manage afterwards and it can make things rather miserable through the winter. Even if you have a budget it can sometimes be really difficult to stick to it because there are so many tempting things to buy around Christmas time. You can almost be made to feel guilty if you do not buy all sorts of things that you do not really need, so try to spend carefully as well as saving up.

If you take the figure and break it down into the amount of months or weeks that there are until Christmas, you will be able to see how much you will need to put aside in order to afford it. Although that may feel a daunting prospect, it will be a lot easier to prepare now, than to try to find the money nearer the time. It could save you having to borrow or reduce the amount that you will need to borrow and that could make a significant difference to how well you will be able to manage afterwards.

So in fact it is really never too early to start saving for Christmas. However, it is wise to work out how much you need to save so that you make sure that you put enough by. The costs can add up much more than you might think and so if you start saving early, you will find that you can more easily manage the expense. If you are struggling to put enough aside, you will have plenty of time to think about how you are going to reduce your spending or increase your income so that you can afford it. It is also wise to pay off debts that you have before you start spending to save money in interest payments.