Christmas is an expensive time of the year. There are socials, parties and a tree that needs lots of gifts beneath it. So here are some hacks to keep you financially buoyant this winter.
Make a list
First of all, you should make a list of all the people in your life that you’re likely to meet between now and Christmas. Once that list is made check it twice. How many of those people do you need to buy for and what level of present do they need and remember not everyone will expect a present from you. I’ve bought people presents when they weren’t expecting it and it got a little awkward. So don’t feel the need to splash out. Perhaps a bottle of plonk and a poinsettia is all you need!
Agree on a budget with your partner
Our very own Daniel Browne suggests on agreeing on a budget with your partner, “I really panicked about buying him presents. His income was much higher than mine at the time and I worried that my presents for him would be paltry compared to what he bought me. To alleviate those worries, agree on a budget. It’s good to be upfront about what’s affordable. For example, if your budget is only £10, explain that and agree to only spend £10 on each other.”
There are some incredible deals to be had on one of the many many voucher sites where you can pick up deals on spa days, theatre tickets and even home learning courses. That’s a gift that keeps on giving.
Make It Yourself
For those of you who have a little extra spare time perhaps you can give a DIY gift. This book has lots of ideas.
If you’ve got a huge family why not suggest doing Secret Santa. This will save you lots of cash, but also so much time trawling the high street looking for that must-have washing up brush for long-lost Aunt Petunia.
The year-long saving challenge
I heard an ingenious saving tip. A pound for the week number. So on the first week you save £1 the second week you save £2 and the third £3 and so on. By the end of the year, you’ll have saved up £1,378!
Spend time, not money
Daniel Brown suggests that spending time with someone is worth more than gold. He says,
“More important than the presents is the time you’re spending with each other. If you’ve found yourself a good ‘n’ he will be fine with that.”
How to save money on your night out
Office parties, social gatherings they’re all pretty pricey. So try these simple things: Have pre-drinks (have a few before you leave). Get to the club early so you don’t have to pay entry and prepare your post-boozing carb-fest before you leave the house. That way you won’t be tempted to get that pricey dirty kebab on the way home.
The editor and chief of THEGAYUK. All in a previous life wrote and produced songs on multi-platinum records.