christmas checklist-speedy finance

Last Minute Christmas Checklist

Justin Harding Saving Tips

The end of December is always hectic; you’re hopping between Christmas parties, juggling visits from relatives, and prepping for the new calendar year.

With so much going on, it’s more important than ever to stay organised so that you can enjoy the season with as little stress as possible. To help you navigate the rest of the year with ease, we’ve put together a checklist to take you through Christmas and into 2016.

Before Christmas:

  • Make a list of the gifts you’ve purchased so far and the people you still need to buy for. Don’t forget those Secret Santa gift exchanges, something for your boss, or any situation where you might need to bring a box of chocolates to someone’s home! Make a budget for the items you have left to buy and stick to it. You’ll be glad you did come January!
  • Organise your receipts. You never know what you might need to return after Christmas, so make sure your receipts are stored in a designated spot. The end of the year is also an ideal time to gather receipts from earlier in the year that you might need to reference when tax season rolls around. Start this habit now and carry it into 2016.
  • Stock up on party food. Christmas, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Eve sneak up in rapid succession, so make sure you have appetizers stashed in your pantry and have assigned dishes for others to bring to the house if you’re hosting any get-togethers. Don’t hesitate to split up the work so the burden doesn’t fall entirely on your shoulders (and bank account)

After Christmas:

  • Take inventory of what you spent over the holidays. It’s time for a game plan – how can you make up for the Christmas splurges in January? What do you want to remember to do next December to soften the blow of holiday expenses?
  • Make any necessary returns or exchanges. Don’t wait too long to return unwanted items, or you may not be able to get your money back! Now is also a good time to use gift cards on items you’ve been eyeing for ages (is that toaster on sale now that the holidays are over?) or plan how you’ll spend them wisely in the upcoming year.
  • Send thank-you notes. If your aunt gave you a special gift this year, show her your gratitude with some handwritten snail mail. She’ll really appreciate it (and be more likely to treat you again next year)!
  • Set savings and payment goals for the New Year. If you have personal loans to repay or are saving for a big-ticket item, set aside an afternoon to map out goals. What can you cut back on in order to increase your savings? How long will it realistically take to get out of debt? Keep a little journal or a document on your computer where you can keep track of these financial goals.
  • Organise your calendar and plan what you can for the upcoming year. Are you going on holiday in 2016? Put in your leave application at work before you leave for the Christmas break, or have it ready to submit as soon as you return to work in the New Year. If you have other big plans in mind for this next year, pencil them in now so you have enough savings when the time comes and don’t double book.
  • Relax! You made it through another busy year, so catch up on sleep and enjoy the break. You deserve it!