- Set up a Christmas Savings Account
Setting up a Christmas savings account could be the best thing you ever do! Treat your Christmas savings the same way you would treat an electricity bill etc. Set out monthly targets where you fully commit to saving the same amount each month. In order to do this effectively you must be realistic! Keep within what is manageable for you and start off small with the aim of increasing a little bit every time. Save those small, annoying pennies! Buy a savings jar that you literally have to break to open and save, save, save! You’d be surprised at how it all adds up over time.
- Get presents early
Ideally you should start buying presents on the 1st of November right after Halloween as this will allow you to relax and enjoy the month of December. This will reduce some of the pressure and stress Christmas can cause and will enable you to spend more time choosing and selecting the perfect presents. Buying presents every month from September to Christmas is cost effective, productive and an efficient use of time. Make sure you make a list of the names of the people you are buying gifts for and how much you plan on spending on each person. This will help keep you keep a clear and focused aim and will reduce the chances of you overspending.
- Start saying no to those morning coffees, lunch & dinner
You may think this won’t make much of a difference but if you spend €10 on your lunch Monday to Friday this is €200 a month worth of savings for Christmas. Similarly, if you go for dinner once a week you will more than likely splash the cash on three courses and some wine which would could cost close to €80. Forget the morning lattes in the run up to Christmas as they all add up to a hefty price at the end of the year. Instead purchase a reusable flask so you can bring your morning coffee to work with you which in turn will help save you money!
- Santa can say NO
It’s important to remember that Santa can say no too! Your children don’t need to get everything they asked for on their Santa list. Santa is busy and so are the elves. Compromise. If you cannot afford the cute puppy then get them a cute puppy teddy instead. Try not to get into the habit of giving your children Christmas presents as this ends up doubling your costs because you are acting as Santa and as parents. Give them a selection box or a small token rather than a bigger gift as this will more than likely come from Santa.
- Buy decorations once & leave it at that
You do not need to spend a fortune on Christmas decorations. Buy them once and store them away for the following year. Invest in an artificial tree as this will save you money over time and also reduce the amount of cleaning required when you purchase a real tree. If you happen to be a major fan of the glitzy, expensive decorations try to buy one a week so it doesn’t cause you to become completely broke before Christmas.