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Christmas and Cash…they may start with the same letter, but that’s about as close as they get..when one comes along, the other one disappears off on holiday, with a frantically packed suitcase and not even a “goodbye, see you later.”
The end of December by many is spent a) recovering from having over indulged at Christmas, b) clawing back some money by whatever means possible c) hanging on by the finger tips until the next pay day.
So with that in mind; here are some of my Christmas money saving tips. Now, some of you may spot that a couple of these are a little outlandish – but hey, you’ve gotta think creative at this time of year, right?
- Give up on Christmas totally; pretend it doesn’t exist and ignore the continuous adverts, jolly songs and man in the red coat; just eat ice-cream and chocolate everyday so you still feel great (ish) and don’t care that people are starting to point and stare at you when they see you
- Explain that Santa and his Elves have been badly hit by the recession so can only afford to make flashing reindeer antlers for everybody this year; this way the kids will still get a present, and you’ll be able to find them when they try and hide because they are cross that you didn’t buy them the £100 toy they so “desperately” wanted
- Go homemade; now this is a good idea, unless you are like me and can’t even make a mess properly. I think all my relatives would give me money to buy their own presents if they thought I was going to even attempt to make them myself. Nobody wants a jumper that’s got so many dropped stitches it would fit a spider now, do they?
- Reconsider your phone provider; I spend a lot of time on the phone. My husband texted me from downstairs yesterday. Once we texted each other because he was at his desk and I was cooking. Perhaps we are losing the ability to have a proper conversation.. personally I think that family lives are just a wee bit busy and technology helps us stay in touch. Maybe the Samsung Galaxy Ace and the Blackberry Curve 9320 from Tesco Mobile, on their capped tariff might help….so we knew what phone budget we had in advance and stuck to it; perhaps we could then text each other to our hearts content safe in the knowledge that we had a budget for that kind of thing…
- Buy everything you can from charity; we do this, its marvellous. Charities benefit, and you benefit as you are getting some pretty good stuff for a fraction of the price. Everyone is smiling. The only problem here is that you may find yourself with a charity shop addiction after Christmas and keep on going throughout the following year, and then discover you have to move house because you have bought so much stuff from charity shops as “it was just such a bargain.” You may need to employ the old texting the husband now because you can’t actually reach him because of the old videos, barbie dolls and Duplo Lego you “just picked up.”
- Become a Facebook ninja; join as many selling groups on Facebook as you can; post your stuff, and buy other people’s, but learn from last year’s charity shop addiction and don’t go mad. Otherwise, you’ll have moved on from needing help due to charititis to FBselliosis. Symptoms of this are similar, except it comes without the fresh air, and with considerably later nights…
- Break with tradition; a lot of Christmas traditions are expensive, turkey on Christmas Day, ham on Boxing Day, lots of presents for everyone. Consider what you would actually be willing not to have this year, and use the money saved on enjoying more of what makes Christmas special to you. Is turkey important – yes, then have it, but maybe Ham on Boxing day isn’t and actually Turkey Risotto would be better and a lot cheaper
- Consider the longer term effects of those traditions; Does Santa buy all the presents? Does he buy just one? Does he give all the stocking presents and nothing else? Bear in mind whatever you do one year, your children will expect the next, and circumstances and budgets change. Santa is stingy in our house; he gives one present and a small stocking. That’s it; and the kids are fine with that as its been that way forever. I know some friends have problems because Santa buys everything, and kids don’t appreciate the cost of what’s on their list if they think the elves are tinkering away making everything. Santa doesn’t have a budget see…
- Ditch the present labels; do we need these, can’t we just write on the wrapping paper…am I being an old scrooge if I save them year on year? Yes. Oh dear, sorry, I promise to wear a Santa hat all day on the 25th to make amends, and sing Jingle Bells constanty in a high elf-like voice to my kids now…
- Ban the kids from the TV; kids have managed to decide that they would like based on what gets broadcast on the TV; Cuddle Uppets, Pillow Pets, Skylanders, Aquafresh Toothpaste, but only if we get Little Teeth and Big Teeth toothbrushes as well, robot talking cats, the entire contents of the Lego factory, and so on ad infinitum. If “they saw an advert” on TV, it becomes an important accessory…if they didn’t see as many adverts on the television, perhaps they wouldn’t actually “need” quite so much stuff?
I could go on, but quite frankly, I think its probably best if I don’t and leave the floor to you.
Do you have any ideas? Let me know below, or tweet me with #XmasSavingTips, and we can all save a bit of dosh this Christmas.
Image above courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net