Shhh! Don't mention the 'C Word!' Kate from Family Fever shares her tips for being prepared for the fast approaching festive season....
Ok, I know I promised not to mention it, but Christmas really is approaching like a high speed train, and many of us are worrying about how we will afford it all. So, without further ado, here are my top 3 tips for Christmas on a budget.
1. Spread the cost.
Christmas is hugely expensive – no matter how much you try to cut back, it is still a big outlay, especially when you have children. To make things easier on ourselves we pick up little bits and pieces throughout the year – anything from stocking fillers to main presents. If we see something that we know the children would like, or something that they have been eyeing up that is now on special offer, we grab it while we can and stash it away ready for the big day. It means we don’t end up with a huge, costly to-do list in December.
2. Join a Christmas saving scheme.
Now, I know there are some ‘dodgy’ ones out there, but it can be worth finding out if your employer offers anything. My husband company offer a Christmas Club – a set amount of our choosing is taken from his wages every month and set aside. Then in November we receive that lump sum. It’s a huge weight off our minds, and means that Christmas is paid for in advance – toys, food, drink – everything. You can save as much or as little as you like.
3. Set up a gift-swap.
I can’t take credit for this idea – a friend of mine recently thought of it, but it’s too good an idea to miss out! Nearly all of us have toys/games/books etc lying around that are either brand new or barely used. Try swapping them with a friend – not only does it clear out the things you no longer want, but it means your children end up with some great new things, at no cost to you. And trust me, children really don’t know, or care, that things are second hand.
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