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Managing money in December

 I don't know about you guys, but in December my money seems to disappear! Between the festive food shop with a tin of biscuits or two, and the present buying there doesn't seem to be a lot of money spare once I have paid the usual bills. I find December a difficult time for managing my money and I thought I would share a few tips for things I am doing this month to try and manage my money and make sure I have a little bit left over to treat myself with too. 

Make a list of everyone you need a present for. Now I know this sounds simple, however, really sit and think about it, Aunt Susan, the secret Santa at work, even down to adding an emergency gift on the list for that unexpected person who will turn up with a gift and catch you off guard. An emergency present could simply be a box of biscuits or a tin of chocolates and then worst case scenario you have them left and don't gift them and then you can eat them yourself. This way you know you have got every present you need and you wont forget anything. 

Plan your food shop in advance. December can be a busy month for all of us with visiting family and hosting parties, I never quite know if I am coming or going! I find planning the days I know I will be at home and making a food list for what I want means I only get meals for days I will be at home. I also make sure I have meals planned so I don't over buy food, as this can be another issue with food shopping in December. I don't know about you guys, but do you get sucked in with all the party food, like you buy all the stuff you don't need and over indulge just because its Christmas? I know we have in the past and I have to be honest I just don't know why we do it, so this year we will have a few extra snacks and nice bits in but I am not going mad. 

Stagger your money. Now this may sound weird, but its a trick I do most months and it helps. I usually put money in my savings every month anyway, but some months I move more across. For instance if I always put £100 into my savings I might put £200 across on pay day, that way I pay my bills and when they have gone out and I decide I might want a little treat, there is either money in my account left over to use, or I have to physically move it from my savings back to my bank account. If I have to move the money I then have to think if I really do want what I am buying. I find in December pacing my money through moving a bit more than normal into my savings is a great buffer space to make me conscious of the amount I am spending on presents and food, and stops me going mad when I am shopping. It also means I might actually save more than I expected to by the end of the month as I move what I need. If I only need £10 of the extra £100 I saved, I only move £10, that still leaves £90 extra in my savings! 

My biggest tip, and one that is a bit late for this year now, but fitting for next year is just to put a little bit aside each month to contribute towards December and Christmas and it helps to have some money together ready to start the Christmas shopping early to spread the cost further! I'd love to know your tips and tricks as well as your favourite festive treats in the comments as I love sharing ideas with you all! 

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