Following October’s challenge to cut back on sugar and improve your sleep, we’re taking a different direction in November. Yep, we know it’s early, but November’s challenge is to get ready for Christmas!!
It’s that time of year again. Well, it almost is.
Halloween is over. The shops are starting to fill with Christmas goodies. And, most importantly, the John Lewis Christmas advert has been released:
This means that it’s time for a mini challenge related to Christmas. And, our challenge is a simple one:
Have all of your Christmas presents done by 30th November 2015.
Why? Well, there is plenty of good reasons. Here are just a few…
Spreading The Cost
The first benefit of making our spending in November for Christmas (or ideally before November) is letting us spread the cost of Christmas.
For most people, December is an expensive month. However frugal you are being with your gifts, you’ll still have the expense of the work Christmas parties, the Christmas dinner and a plethora of other activities and expense that Christmas brings.
Therefore, if you can get all of your presents sorted in November, this will help you budget better and spread your expenses between months.
Saving Through Being More Thoughtful
This is a key benefit for you, and the recipients of your Christmas gifts.
By taking the time out early, you will find that you can be much more thoughtful in your giving. Not only will this make the recipients appreciate the message behind your gift – you know, that you love them, not just that Asda told you to buy it! – but you will also be able to save money by making and designing your own gifts.
So, sit down and have a think about memories that you share with your friend or family member. Think about what would make them truly happy this Christmas. You’ll find that more often than not, this will actually save you money.
Avoiding The Last Minute Crap
This is strongly linked to the point above, but by sorting all of your presents in November, you’ll be able to avoid the last minute rush. This has a number of advantages:
- you won’t have to deal with the shopping centre or high street the week before Christmas (think of all the saved time scrapping over tat!)
- you won’t find yourself buying a celebrity’s autobiography for your Auntie for £10 because you literally can’t think of anything else to get her
- you’ll have more time and less stress at home in those days before Christmas
- all of your wrapping will already be done
- you can look like, no you can be, that organised person that you’ve envied all of these years!! 🙂
Think About Whether You Need To Buy Presents
The last benefit we’ll discuss is that by sorting this out early, you can have the conversations with your loved ones about whether you need to buy presents for each other.
Many people see this as being “Scrooge”, but my wife and I don’t buy presents for each other at Christmas as we generally see it as an unnecessary expense. If we need or want something throughout the year, we have a plan as to whether and how we’ll buy it. Christmas isn’t any different just because some old dude was born!! 😉
Therefore, by thinking about your gifts early, maybe you’ll determine that whilst you may buy small gifts for your nieces and nephews, your brothers and sisters may not actually want to exchange presents.
This is different for everyone, but by doing it early and thinking it through more, you may be able to cut down on the Christmas bill even further.
The only exception to this might be returns. Many stores will have a 21 day return policy. So, if you think there is a chance that the recipient of your gift may wish to return it, then you might want to jot it down and wait to buy later in December.
However, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Remember, we are thinking about this early to avoid just buying a jumper for someone because you can’t think of anything else and you’re not sure they’ll like it, or you don’t know their size.
Instead, we’re trying to think of thoughtful gifts we can buy and/or make which the recipient would never, ever want to return! 🙂
So, who’s in?
Who’s going to join the mini challenge for November?
I’ll be starting thinking about all the presents we’ll be buying this year today and getting them bought and/or made in the coming days and weeks.
Will you be doing the same?