I am already seeing Christmas everywhere. The sweets are in the supermarkets, soon the adverts will start appearing on the TV, magazines and papers are packed. The commercialisation has started.
But I make this plea to all of you, particularly if you have little spare money. Don’t 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 2020 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 a time. I can look back and see that I have spent an extra £1000 on Christmas, on top of the regular monthly spend. Sometimes that £1000 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 that you buy gifts for, or whom 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 and buy one pressie only for a set amount.
I love receiving a home-made gift. And I love to make and gift them to people who have been amazing. Making chutney is a personal favourite. Along with sloe gin and other flavoured gins and vodkas.
I love to make homemade decorations, its fun to make things with the boys and gift them to relatives who appreciate it being homemade by the children.
Christmas is about the Children
Really Christmas is all the about the children. But I 100% do not believe they need £100s 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 work out the cheapest time to buy the time, suing 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 see it a huge excuse to do a blow out 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 have some amazing Christmas foods and treats that really will not break the bank. Iceland also have 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?