Three Birthdays and Christmas – Absolutely the most expensive time of the year!

I didn’t really think of this over the years as my 3 babies appeared into this world, but now with 3 boys turning 2, 5 and 7 within 6 weeks of each other..and then Christmas…now is the most expensive time of the year for us!

And this year is my mission to save money 🙂

2013-12-25 13.27.26

Birthdays

So the first debate is the party, do I organise parties? If I had been organised I could have organised something joint, but I’m not 🙂 Or I go for cheaper individual parties. Here are a few ideas for saving party money

Josh’s birthday comes first 9th Oct. For Josh we went for a joint party with one of his friends. A Potstop party where we split the costs and both brought food, me sweet and my friend savoury. Total spend of £90. Josh’s pressie was a Tesco Hudl tablet paid for in clubcard vouchers, plus I gave him some John Lewis vouchers to buy some new trainers he is desperate for.

Dylan birthday comes 2nd on 9th Nov. He is after a football party for which I might just do my own. Ie a party at the village rec with some food and drinks in the football clubhouse? Unless the local school has some miraculous availability for a party that I’ve not yet booked. And a pressie, he’s really getting into personalising his bedroom so maybe a desk, I could get one from my local Knebworth Facebook items for sale?

And then finally baby Jack is 2 on 22nd November. I can definitely get away with no party for him. Hes too young to remember! And for pressies, he’s fallen in love with a tonka police station to match his tonka fire station. Cheapest place seems to be John Lewis at £19. Most helpful as I get £100 John Lewis vouchers each month at a 9% discount as part of my benefits at work. So I pay £17 for it. £30 in Toysrus. So I’m happy with that price.

Christmas

And so that takes me to planning for Christmas. We absolutely cannot afford an expensive christmas. It often ends up costing over £1000 for all the presents and food and nights out.

So here are my thoughts now for saving money..

  1. Discuss with family and agree the `no presents rule`. There are members of my family particularly where there is still a £50 spend on pressies. Often I end up with vouchers or things I don’t want so this year, I’m suggesting nothing. If they want to give pressies to the kids that is up to them. Saving of £250
  2. Maximise usage of Clubcard vouchers to buy all the children’s presents I need to get. I will have probably around £250 worth by December. Tesco always run a clubcard boost, of double the voucher value in the run up to Christmas. I have various friends children who I need to buy pressies for. We now do a secret santa thing so for each group you end up up buying 2-3 presents rather than presents for everyone. https://www.drawnames.co.uk/ Is a great site that does all the emails and name choices for you 🙂 Money saved £100
  3. Hubby gifts, we won’t get each other anything. Maybe a weekend away in January? If I have clubcard vouchers left. £10 of voucher = £30 of hotel spend at Hilton, De Vere, all sorts.
  4. Gifts for people brilliant people at work and close friends. I’ve been building up a stock up homemade stuff to make hampers. Jam, chutney and I’ll add a bottle of wine.
  5. Food at Christmas..between now and December there are 3 more pay days so that means £300 in John Lewis vouchers to come. That should cover lovely Waitrose Christmas food.
  6. Nights out, most nights out at Christmas, i.e. work related are paid for. So I will try my best to always get the last train home and not end up in taxi home after missing my last train home:-)
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Lynn Beattie

Aka Mrs MummyPenny

Personal Finance Expert

I write about personal finance made simple, lifestyle choices that will save you time and money, as well as products and services that offer great value.

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