How to organise your Christmas: Planner & Budgeting Guide

We all know the cost of living is rising – it’s impossible to ignore the media and government warnings.  As a family photographer in Richmond, I speak to lots of families and many of our conversations have turned to planning and budgeting for Christmas.  I’ve picked up so many amazing suggestions and tips that I’ve decided to turn them all into one handy Christmas planner for you all to download.  The link to the download is at the bottom of this article!

As we move into the Autumn it’s only natural that we start to think about Christmas. 

I know some of you will have started the planning a while back and may even have made a start on your shopping!  I suspect there are even a couple of you who are practically done and dusted! 

Well, I’m not that organised! So for the mere humans amongst us, juggling the demands of parenting, working, self-care and family finances, don’t worry, my Christmas planner will come to your rescue. At least I hope so!

At this time of year, the longer you leave it to get organised, the higher the chances you’ll overspend unnecessarily.  Have you ever duplicated gifts for someone or paid over the odds for something because you’re panic buying?  This lack of planning can be really costly, not to mention stressful!

My biggest tip to avoid this is to make a gift list. 

In my free planner, you’ll find a handy gift list template to print.  You can print as many copies as you need – one for the kids, another for family and friends.  But it’s key that you keep the list to hand whenever you’ll be shopping.  Keep it in your bag or the wallet where you keep your cards so that it’s impossible to make a purchase without consulting your list! You can write everyone on the list who you’ll be buying gifts for, there is space for the type of gift you’d like to find for them along with a budget.  And then you have tick boxes for when the present is bought and wrapped!

I’ve also included some tips on saving money on buying gifts.  I use Quidco for as many of my purchases as possible over the year.  If you’ve not heard of Quidco, it’s a cashback site that gives you cash back on purchases you make.  Sometimes it’s a few pennies, other times it can be substantial amounts.  I do this over the year and usually have a couple of hundred pounds in my cashback account to withdraw for Christmas shopping. 

The other huge money-saving tip I can give you is to purchase photography as a gift. 

At this time of year, I run mini sessions that start at just £70. And included in your package you have a mini shoot and 2 digital files.  Portrait prints make amazing gifts for lots of family and friends.  Grandparents, aunts, uncles, family and friends who live further away absolutely adore getting prints as Christmas gifts and it’s a permanent, year-round, reminder on their desks or walls, of the love they share with your family. 

Is there any better gift? 

It’s so economical to purchase a photography package to use the prints as gifts that I get super busy at this time of year with everybody doing the same thing! 

The mini session will be done in November and the booking slots will open on the 1st of October, so keep an eye out for those!

My free guide is packed with hints and tips like these and it’s yours to download and keep here.

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07577 978246 VALE@PHOTOGRAPHYBYVALENTINA.COM

LONDON NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHER