Christmas Consciously-How To Manage Your Gift Shopping

So today I thought I'd post about something a bit different. Christmas is only five weeks away now! Does that scare any of you? Christmas is often one of the most magical time of the year, but it can also be one of the most stressful. Budgets go crazy & unless you're extremely organised, it can be a bit of a nightmare.

I decided I didn't want Christmas Shopping to turn into a not so lovely time this year, and hopefully it won't be for you either...Today I have compiled 5 Tips to help make Christmas gift shopping more of a breeze. I've been following all of these this year & it has worked a lot better for me, so maybe it'll work for you too.

1. Start now. 5 weeks is not a great deal of time to get yourself organised. Even if your budget prevents you from going out to the shops right away you can still go visit your local shopping area to get an idea of what's available. Now would also be an ideal time to start thinking about how many people you need to buy gifts for & whether or not you're going to send out cards this year.

2. Have a budget per person & stick to it. It is incredibly easy to get carried away at Christmas time & spoil one another, particularly when shop assistants are trying to convince you to buy more. By allocating everyone you're buying for an individual budget it becomes a lot easier to go out & know how much you are going to spend on each person. Don't be afraid if you do go over this slightly, sometimes you may see something else you'd rather buy someone..but don't go overboard! This year I had around the same budget per person & so far I've stayed within it for almost everyone.

3. Don't be afraid to keep your gift list small. Think of it this way, the less people you have to buy for the less money you potentially have to spend. My list currently consists of 5/6 people & they are all people I usually exchange gifts with. Also don't be afraid not to send Christmas Cards to everyone. I'm only sending cards to friends overseas & anyone I don't see very often.

4. Feeling crafty? How about you make your own gifts! I'm not the best crafter but I do enjoy making cakes & desserts for people so I'll be making edible treats for some of my friends & family. If baking isn't for you there are plenty of craft ideas on Pinterest, everyone loves handmade. Have a look at my DIY & Dessert boards for inspiration.

5. Last but not least, if you need some extra cash do a cull! Sell anything you no longer need on sites like eBay or Trade Me. People often use those sites more at this time of year to find affordable Christmas gifts. I'll be cutting down my CD & DVD collection to raise some gift money as well as taking some books to the second hand store..if I get around to it.

-I hope you found these tips useful. Do you have any tips of your own to share?? Leave a comment below.

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