I KNOW, I KNOW it’s only July and I’m really sorry. But there’s only 21 Fridays left until Christmas, which sadly means only more paydays, 10 if you’re paid fortnightly, and 4 for those poor fuckers among you that are paid monthly.

Depending on the size of your family, your age and your present-buying obligations, Christmas can be spensy, and that’s before we’ve even begun the mulling, mincing and pumpkin spicing of our social lives.

The key to financially preparing for Christmas costs is just that – preparing.

This month, sit down and write out the costs you’ll incur around the Christmas period.

It’ll be different for everyone, and really depend on your stage of life. I’m not yet at that stage where I have a big house to host family in – so I’m not factoring in the cost of Christmas lunch. For many of you it’ll be the same story, but if you’re already at the stage where you’ve got a home that fits a table that’s suitable for anything more than 3 mice, YOU ARE KILLIN’ IT.

Our ‘dining zone’ as the real estate agents like to call it, is more like a strange area of the kitchen that just about fits in that table that everyone has from Kmart. The Scandi style one with the white top and wooden legs. Yeah that – with one chair missing. Like I said, we’re not quite at hosting stage yet!

Write down everything you’ll need to spend money on for Christmas – think presents, wrapping paper, outfits for festivities, etc. Add them all up and divide by the number of paydays you’ll get between now and December 1. I say December 1 because I like to think through my present buying, so the earlier I’m ready to buy, the better. If you’re a late buyer who thrives off of rushing around on December 23 and 24, by all means calculate those extra weeks.

By putting away this set amount each week between now and the festive season, you’ll dramatically reduce the burden when it comes to it. AND by factoring in extra costs for celebrations and Christmas parties, you’ll be able to skip on out and snap up that 10/10 jumpsuit guilt free.

If your eyeballs are bulging out of your head at the figure you’ve just calculated, don’t panic. At least you’ve realised now. Just break it down to whatever you can realistically afford to save and put that away each week. If you could have even half of your costs ready and waiting for you by December 1, it’d be an achievement in itself, right?