It's no secret that Christmas can be an expensive time of year. I always end up going overboard and I never stick to my budget but one thing I always do is make sure I get good deals. As we're close to December and on the countdown to the festivities I thought it was about time I share my tips with you!

1. Set a Budget
My first tip is an obvious one, and the one I always find the hardest; set yourself a budget. I'm a bit of a hypocrite writing this as I definitely haven't stuck to a budget this year at all but I'm getting a pay rise in the new year so I have been feeling spendy!! I like to write a list of all the people I am buying for and a rough budget for each person. Once I start to purchase gifts I'll add them to the list and deduct the price from their budget and work with that system. It works for the most part but I always end up buying a bit more!

2. Find the Discounts
The best tip I can give you is find discounts. If you're a student use your student card whenever you make a purchase; whether it's online or in store. If you're not a student anymore, it doesn't mean there aren't discounts out there. I use voucher cloud, voucher code and groupon often to find discounts for high street stores.

3. Buy on Offer
Another good tip is to use offers wisely. If you find a gift you like on boots and it's part of the 3 for 2 offer, search the site for other gifts that you could also buy and save some money too. 

4. Spread it Out
I would always suggest to spread your shopping out. Don't buy everything online in the space of an hour because your bank balance will not appreciate it. I like to buy a couple of presents, then wrap them and tick them off the list before going back and buying some more. I started my shopping in October this year but I will also be looking out for some deals in the January sales too.

5. Shop Around
It is so important to shop around when you're buying your gifts. If I have an idea I will spend hours searching numerous websites to find the best prices. Remember, this is a particularly important tip if shopping online because you also need to factor in delivery costs too!

Remember Christmas is not about spending lots of money on people, it's about spending time with your loved ones and appreciating one another's company. If you can afford to buy gifts then why not show your family and friends you love them, they deserve being spoilt but if you can't then handmade gifts are just as good and you being there is the best gift you could give anyone.

So there are my tips for helping you to budget during December and in the lead up to Christmas. Let me know if you have any other ideas, I'd love to know in the comments below!


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