Christmas. Love it or loathe it, that one day of the year can cost you hundreds of pounds. So why do people leave it until December to fork out all that money? Whether you have a large family to buy for, or a just a few friends, Christmas Shopping can leave you extremely short.

Personally, I love Christmas. I love buying presents for people (and myself occasionally). I have a medium sized family, a boyfriend, a large group of friends, and a dog to buy for. On my wages, I can't afford to buy all those people presents in one month. I'm sure it's the same for others.

Christmas shopping in August

This year I had my list ready at the beginning of August. Yes, some might say that is extreme, but I think it's genius. The first present I bought was a knocked down Yankee Candle set. Boom, first present sorted. Even if the candles are meant to smell of summer, you'll get a headache no matter what time of the year you light them.

If I was to buy the same present now, leading up to Christmas, it would be three times the price. Am I sounding more like a genius yet?

I never used to buy presents early and I think it's something that people do as they grow older. Back in the day, I wouldn't have started thinking about Christmas until December 1st, and that's only because I could open my chocolate advent calendar (which my mum still buys for me).

Now I earn my own money, and I'm considered an 'adult', I realise why buying for Christmas so early wouldn't be social suicide.

Stretching the pay cheque

Most people have two paydays before Christmas, November and the early December wages that are meant to last you until January. Good one.

So if you leave your shopping until December, you'll be taking huge chunks of money out of your bank account all in one go.

Having finished all my Christmas shopping already, I admit, I'm looking forward to this months payday already, but it means I get two months wages all to myself.

I can enjoy December drinking black forest hot chocolate, eating gingerbread, and ice skating on a poorly made ice rink in the centre of town.

The only downside to buying presents before anything hits the shops is not being able to purchase any of the fantastic looking, overpriced, commercialised rubbish, that no one really wants anyway.

I saw a really cute mug shaped as a fox that has marshmallows stuffed inside it the other day. I thought of buying it for a friend, who I've already bought for - and that's the problem. If I carry on buying when I see this stuff, I'll be spending twice as much and that's the whole point of this article. To save money and spread out the cost of Christmas.

If you start to buy presents early, don't give into the temptation. When people laugh and say it's silly buying for Christmas in August, just think of all the money you'll save. Think of those who will have to pay out all that money at once, while getting trampled in the crowds and getting sung at by choirs on the street.