Christmas is everywhere. The chocolates are in the supermarkets, the adverts are everywhere on TV, magazines and newspapers. The commercialisation grows bigger and bigger each year.
But I make this plea to all of you, particularly if you have little spare money. Do not go over the top with your spending this Christmas. Don’t get yourself into debt for one day. I don’t want anyone to still be paying off 25th December 2022 for the next year.
Even worse you could still be paying off Christmas the following Christmas, and the credit card debt gets larger and larger. Only buy what you can afford.
I have been there many times. I can look back and remember spending an extra £1,000 on Christmas, on top of the regular monthly spend. Often that £1,000 has been money that I haven’t had. I have given into the marketing and mum guilt, and spent, spent, spent.
But this year must be different for me and I encourage the same of you. Don’t overspend this Christmas.
Cutting back on the gifts
Have a conversation with all those people for that you buy gifts for, or who buy for you. Do you buy for them because they buy for you? Or vice versa. Can you come to an agreement to maybe not do that this year? Do you even end up getting a gift that was actually needed?
My realisation of stopping family presents came a few years ago when I gifted vouchers to a relative and they gifted vouchers straight back again. Really what was the point? I had the conversation that money was tight, and these unnecessary gifts stopped.
Do you a have big family of aunts and uncles. Maybe you can arrange a secret Santa instead of everyone buying individual presents. Names into a hat or use the website Drawnames to buy one pressie only for a set amount.
I love to make homemade decorations, it’s fun to make things with the boys and gift them to relatives who appreciate them being homemade by the children. Like this yule log.
Christmas is about the Children
Really Christmas is all about the children. But I 100% do not believe they need £100’s spent on them. Surely the children don’t need a huge pile of presents that they rip through and open in ten minutes flat?
I know I have been guilty of it myself, thinking that they need a certain quantity of gifts, at least ten, and have bought extra in the lead-up to Christmas. But these are my thoughts, not theirs. My expectations of what they might want.
Manage their expectations, if they write a list of 20 things, ask them to reduce that down to the few items they really need and a couple that they want. Get them to write it early, so you can find the cheapest time to buy the time, using a free site like Idealo to compare prices.
Try to focus the children on things that will last and what they actually need. My boys will always include football boots on their list as I know it’s something that is a need, rather than a want. I also love to gift experiences rather than things. A voucher for a trip to the theatre or a wilderness adventure, something that will last as a memory forever.
Have a list for Christmas and stick to it. No buying extra last-minute presents as something extra, just stick to what is on the list!
The Christmas Food
I really love the Christmas food and have seen it as an excuse to do a blowout shop on things lovely. Beautiful meats, party foods, desserts, mince pies. I like to get in all the treats. Again, this is mainly for me, I see the food as a treat and something that should be bought. But I don’t have to spend £200-£300 extra on food.
Shop around at some of the cheaper supermarkets, Aldi has some amazing Christmas foods and treats that really will not break the bank. Iceland also has an amazing great priced range.
Why not buy an item every week in the lead up to Christmas, a tin of sweets one week, biscuits the next, nuts the next and stash them away for Christmas week?
What are you going to do to save this Christmas?