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It may only be September, but it’s the perfect time to start thinking about Christmas if you’re hoping to save some money over the holiday season this year. For many people, September could even be too late – the earlier you start, the better chance you have of spending less and experiencing less financial stress at a time that’s supposed to be happy and full of joy.

If you are a single parent, then the Christmas period may be a time of year that hits you harder than most. Although you’d love to give your little ones the time of their lives on Christmas morning, it’s not always going to be financially possible to do so. Thankfully, there are several things that you can do, starting from now, that will help you have the celebration of a lifetime this Christmas without starting the New Year in a financial mess.

Here are our top tips.

Tip #1. Consider Borrowing Money

In some cases, borrowing money in the form of quick loans can actually be a good idea when it comes to paying for Christmas. The extra cash in your pocket means that you’ll be able to stop worrying about affording everything along with ensuring that your priority bills are getting paid, and so long as you use a responsible lender and only borrow as much as you know you’re going to be able to afford to repay comfortably, it can boost your credit rating and put you in the market for better financial products down the line.

For example, quick loans give you a small, manageable amount of money to borrow that will help you cover your Christmas expenses, with the option to repay over several months with an amount that you can incorporate into your monthly budget. Or, a credit card could be a good alternative if you can find one with a good interest-free initial period.

Tip #2. Save Small and Often

It may seem like there’s plenty of time until the holiday season hits us, but there are only a few months to go and for many people, that will come around a lot faster than anticipated. Starting from this month, you could begin putting away a small amount in a savings account or on a gift card, in preparation for Christmas to give you some extra cash to work with when it comes to purchasing gifts, food, decorations and more. Even if you’re only putting away a few pounds a week, it’ll all add up by the time you’re hitting the high street to do your Christmas shopping, and if you’re considering quick loans to help you with expenses, you’ll have even more spare cash to work with.

Tip #3. Take Advantage of Current Deals

Maybe you haven’t begun to think about doing your Christmas shopping yet, but now is the best time to get started. Even though summer has only just ended and you might feel like it’s way too early, there’s a lot to be said for the idea of getting your Christmas presents in time. You can take advantage of special deals and offers that probably won’t be available any longer closer to the Christmas period.

Bear in mind that during the holidays, market demand goes up a lot – and prices will follow. So, leaving Christmas gift shopping until the last minute could mean that you end up paying a premium price. Along with that, getting started with Christmas gift shopping now means that you can spread the cost more easily over a couple of months, rather than relying on one pay packet to do so.

Tip #4. Set a Budget

Lastly, a very important thing to do when you’re planning your Christmas spending this year is to have a firm budget in mind. Little ones always get excited at the prospect of Christmas gifts, so it’s a good idea to start talking to them now about the kind of gifts that they’d like so that you can determine how much you’ll be able to spend on them whilst still being able to get them what they want.

If you’re considering the idea of quick loans or other lines of credit to help you cover the cost of Christmas, then don’t forget to incorporate this, plus any savings that you have, into your total budget.

Other things to consider are Christmas decorations. Save money by purchasing regular fairy lights earlier in the year, rather than buying the ones that come out for Christmas, and maybe even consider getting a real tree, since these tend to be cheaper to buy. Lastly, don’t forget to include the cost of food – not just your Christmas dinner but also the other tasty treats that you’ll want over the holiday season!

Did these tips help? Would you like to add any of your own? Let us know in the comments.

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