Guest Post By Cassie Fairy from My Thrifty Life

If you haven’t already started to plan for Christmas yet… why not?! It’s only three months away, people! You can start planning for the festive season at any time of year (and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!) but there are some specific things that you can do in the month September to get a head start and help make your Christmas as stress-free as possible.

Photo by

Budget, plan and start saving

One of the most important things you can do to prepare for Christmas is financial planning. After all, if you haven’t got the money for Christmas, you can’t really celebrate it in the same way you usually would. If you make a budget now, that’ll give you an idea of how much money you’ll need for the festive season. Here’s a list of things you should include in your budget:

  • Food – not just the Christmas dinner, but all snacks and meals throughout the holidays. 
  • Drink – if you’re going to be preparing mulled wine and Christmas cocktails, put those bottles into the budget.
  • Gifts – who do you need to buy for? How much do you want to spend on each person? Are you doing a Secret Santa this year? Try our free downloadable Christmas Gift Planner to work help you plan.
  • Decorations – are you getting a real tree, or do you need a new set of fairy lights after last years’ ones broke?
  • Days out – you’ll probably want to take the little ones to visit Santa or go to a Christmas market to soak up the atmosphere, or even watch the pantomime at the local theatre – so add these to your festive spending list.

Start putting a little extra aside every week in a piggy bank. If you’ve got loose change in your purse, pop it in. These little bits of cash can add up to quite a sum by the time you get to Christmas and can cover all those unexpected expenses (aren’t there always some?).

Start Collecting Addresses

If you want to send out your Christmas cards early in December, you’ll need to have a list of addresses for the important people in your life. Most people move house in the Spring or Summer so, by September, they’ll be settled in their new home if they’ve moved during the year and can give you their new address. 

This will allow you to start writing your Christmas cards now and address them correctly. Just write a few cards each week – you don’t have to send the cards until closer to Christmas, but you won’t have an overwhelming pile of cards to write on the 1st December. And, if you’re the one who has moved house, be sure to update all your friends and family with you new address in advance and set up a forwarding address with the post office to catch any cards that are sent to your old home.

Craft Supplies

With back-to-school in full swing, September is the best time of the year to buy craft supplies. Pens, paints, glue, paper and more will all be on special offer this month so stock up now if you plan to make your own Christmas cards, decorations or a DIY advent calendar.

Secondhand sales

Keep an eye out for secondhand sales between now and Christmas, as these are a great place to find vintage decorations for practically nothing. You can save money on indoor and outdoor festive décor by rummaging through yard sales, car boot sales, charity shops, garage sales, thrift stores and estate sales. You never know what you might find and it’s a great way to get unique decorations that no one else will have in their home this Christmas. Plus, if you’ve got Christmas décor that you no longer use, why not sell it on to make a little extra cash for your Christmas savings?

Start Pinning!

Pinterest is probably the best tool for planning your Christmas. If you set up a Pinterest account and start browsing Christmas-themed pins, you can easily find inspiration for gifts, holiday decor, festive recipes, homemade decorations and DIY presents. Save all your favourites now so that you can come back to them when you’re ready to start making or baking! 

If you’ve already saved images of your ideal Christmas, this will also give you an idea of what items you’ll need to buy in order to create those crafts or decorate your home, so you can start shopping in advance and spread the cost over the coming months.

 I hope these ideas have inspired you to get started on your Christmas preparations this September.

For more advice on living a lovely life on a budget, head over to Cassie Fairy’s blog My Thrifty Life. There you’ll find plenty of money-saving tips for Christmas and many festive décor DIY projects such as this step-by-step video to create an illuminated space-saving Christmas Tree that she made from old copper pipe!