I know, I know, it’s only June and some people will hate the sound of the ‘C’ word right now. But, when you have your child’s birthday only 7 days after Christmas Day, it really is never too early to start planning. If I left everything until November or December I would end up in a mass state of panic and there’s no way I’d be able to afford everything.
I know I might seem a bit crazy but I actually start Christmas and birthday shopping even before Christmas Day has come around. You see, I am generally done with all of my shopping by October so I start working on the next year as early as I can. This is slowly starting to get harder and harder though. Erin will be 3 in January and it’s getting more difficult to predict the kinds of things she will like, especially as she tends to show particular interest in things now.
I tend to keep an eye out for things Erin might like throughout the year and I always look out for sales and special offers. The Sainsbury’s toy sale in particular is a great opportunity to get a bigger present for a great price. Last year I bought a toy shop to put away for this year and it only cost £20. This year I might be a little bit more cautious because I have no idea what Erin might like at nearly 4 but I’ll see what big items they have to put away.
Speaking of Sainsbury’s, something else I am trying to do this year is to save up my Nectar Points. Unlike last year when we had a house full, it will only be me, John and Erin this year but I am trying to make sure that the Nectar Points will cover the Christmas food shop and tick off another thing to do without having to worry about it at all. At the moment I have about £40 in Nectar Points and I think this would near enough cover us. We don’t go mad when it’s just the three of us and we don’t even have turkey!
To help take the pressure off spending money I use a few different survey and points sites to help me to earn some extra. Swagbucks is one of my favourites because I can use apps on my mobile phone to earn points and it doesn’t take a lot of work. You can obviously put more effort in to earn more but I average around £20 a month at the moment and that’s with not doing much at all. It may not seem like much but £240 is quite a lot if you save up all year.
It might only be June but really, early planners get the best deals and save the most money!