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Top 5 Tips To Budget & Plan For Christmas 2023

Updated: Oct 13, 2023


Christmas gift wrapping

Having worked 30 years in retail, Christmas was always about planning in advance from a business perspective and very much for my home as working up to the last minute - and invariably back again on Boxing Day meant I had to get my act together or else have a meltdown on Christmas Eve!!


Financially, this had to be planned too otherwise one month's salary just wasn't going to cut it.

Here are my top 5 tips to budget and plan for Christmas that I have learned over the years, to help ease the stress.

Feel free to comment & add your own at the bottom, I'd love you to share your wisdom too!


Tip #1 - The Countdown...


Retro clock with fairy lights

How much are you planning on spending overall?

Have you got savings especially for Christmas?

Do you put some money away from September?

How many paydays are left? Will you rely on your credit card?

Can be a good thing if using cashback deals, more on that in tip 5.

Divide your budget into categories so that it’s easier to manage For example: You're allocating £1000 overall.

Christmas Eve - New Years day - who’s coming to join you for food & drinks, are you going out to friends? What’s going to be on your menu & when will you buy things?

Let's allocate £300 to Food & Drinks.

Next, list who you’re buying for & how much you’ll spend for each person. Let's allocate a total of £500.

So you've got £200 left...


Family games & decorations! No doubt you've got heaps from previous years but a few new bits are always lovely. Maybe have a swap with someone so you both get to enjoy something new. Don't underestimate the gorgeous outdoors for gathering greenery, using herbs such as Rosemary for place settings & making your own door wreaths.


Essential oils in burners make your home smell amazing & you can get loads of ideas on Pinterest.


You will have lovely Christmassy clothes already but you've got a little leftover in the pot if you're after some matching pyjamas or something sparkly.


Tip #2 - Have The Chat


Set the tone now. We are all in the same financial storm so everyone will be relieved to know what the plans are this year & how you're buying for each other. Getting the kids on board might be a challenge but creating a game of it will help. They can get thinking about: What they WANT, what they NEED, something to WEAR & something to READ Maybe you can create a surprise lucky dip as well. Deciding that you all want a more snuggly & more meaningful Christmas instead of piles of pressies will change the game. This year we’re making the festivities more about good food, good times, getting the music & movies on, fairy lights, candles, log burner, board games & simply enjoying each other's company. It’s lovely to give homemade gifts like cookies all beautifully wrapped. I love to make Christmas Fudge & hand scrubs, maybe you can arrange a fun family mince pie bake-off? If you can spare a couple of hours you might like to do a little volunteering where you’ll be really needed. My mum & I helped do the Veg prep for a charity the last couple of Christmases on the 23rd who cook for people in need on Christmas day. It’s incredibly humbling & I feel a mixture of sadness with complete gratitude for what I do have when I get home.


Am I the only one who watches The Holiday in September...?


What's your favourite Christmas film?


Tip #3 - Shopping for Bargains


Note: Amazon Prime Days in October

Black Friday deals usually start from mid-November ready for the 24th this year. Cyber Monday is the 27th November

Many retailers will start their Winter Sales from around 10th of December - at least you’ll find plenty of 3 for 2’s etc.

Get adding things to your Wish List online now & watch the prices change. Grab them when they reduce!

I love Boots for massive gift sets that reduce in price the closer it gets to Christmas.

I can create several little sets from those big ones! Use your Boots card on those triple points days coming up in November so you can have a little extra treat for yourself. By putting items in your online shopping carts, many retailers will email you automatically after a few days as a reminder to go back to buy the thing and is often with an extra discount. Use your loyalty points with your supermarket to go towards the booze & chocolates - hide them away or they’ll be gone!

Tip #4 - Price Watching

Use browser extensions such as Top Cashback, Paypal Honey, and Camelizer! The Camelizer is the brainchild of CamelCamelCamel, an Amazon price-tracking website. CamelCamelCamel tracks the price history of items sold on Amazon so you can get a sense of the regular price so you know if the offer price is authentic. So if a Sage Coffee Machine is on your wish list, you know, like just for example (hint hint) you can see how much it compares to John Lewis before snapping up the bargain!


Tip #5 - Get Cashback!


It's like an extra discount that you'll get back in January when you really need it most.


UW Cashback Card

I love my UW Mastercard as it gives me up to 10% cashback on everything I buy & reduces the cost of my utility bills! I often get around £60 back as a credit on my January bill when I need it most.

Look at AMEX, John Lewis & Asda for various bonuses on their cards.

Money Saving Expert has some great suggestions & tips how best to manage credit cards - be warned not paying them off in full will only ADD to the cost of your shopping as the interest rates will be high. Amex runs an annual Small Business Saturday so that many independent shops have offers backed up by Amex cashback.

It’s the day after Black Friday each year, so this entire weekend is a real bargain-hunters paradise. How about a little old-fashioned Christmas shopping, in proper shops, and artisan boutiques to find gorgeous things to gift as well as supporting our talented UK creators?



Using these tips to budget & plan for Christmas will really help you to reduce your stress so that you can enjoy the festivities with your loved ones.


For planning tools that you can use NOW visit here


Thank you for reading, please leave your comments below & share this on your socials!


Love from


Lucy x


ps if you prefer you can watch the video here:


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Oct 21, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Some fantastic tips and money saving tools shared in this blog post. Thank you for doing the hard work and sharing it to help my money go for their this Christmas.

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It's my pleasure! And thank you so much for your review it means a lot

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