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How do you avoid a post-Christmas financial hangover? Share your tips with Lloyds Bank and you could win a £300 Love2Shop voucher NOW CLOSED

(377 Posts)
ZaneMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 03-Dec-15 14:56:59

We've been asked by Lloyds Bank to get Mumsnetters' tips and tricks for stretching every pound in the run-up to Christmas.

”Christmas is a joyous time of the year, however, many parents find it difficult to truly enjoy it. Somehow, your money (and time) is needed to cover presents, food, drink and travelling amongst many other expenditures. We would love to hear how you make sure Christmas doesn’t leave your bank balance a Santa shade of red.” – Lloyds Bank

So, what's your secret? Do you have a special knack to shopping that saves you pounds? Or are you more into the homespun approach, making your own gifts (and fun). Have you perfected the art of negotiating a lengthy list to Santa with a budget in mind? We’d love to hear your top tips.

Everyone who posts on this thread will be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £300 Love2Shop voucher.



loosechange Thu 03-Dec-15 15:05:27

I start shopping early, and buy a little each month.
Look at what is on offer, and if I want it I pick it up when I see it before it goes.
I pick up cards/crackers and paper in the after Christmas sales.
My husband and I set a budget for gifts we exchanged when money was tight.

It helps that my children are younger, but I remind myself that generally they don't care how expensive/inexpensive the gift is.

I order a Christmas shop to arrive several days before the day, the delivery is less, and I can pick up anything I need without having to have a mad rush on Christmas Eve which will cost more.

And repeat to myself it is just a day. In six months time we are not going to be talking about the quality of the mince pies/wrapping paper/stuffing........

lubeybooby Thu 03-Dec-15 15:12:01

I work more in December and stick to a budget. No excessive credit spending. No going mad, just a few nice treats.

Make sure you remember where your cards, wrapping and decs are from the previous years so you don't end up buying more (caught me out a few times)

InMySpareTime Thu 03-Dec-15 15:55:53

I start buying early, shopping mostly locally and using charity shops to get bargains. No extra guests for Christmas, just the four of us, simple roast dinner with homemade pigs in blankets, quite cheap as a meal.
We have a simple family Christmas, it doesn't need to be expensive.

WineOrSleep Thu 03-Dec-15 15:56:33

Enter competitions hoping to wish vouchers to soften the January financial blues fwink

VaseandCandle Thu 03-Dec-15 16:02:20

Don't go over the top. Don't buy stuff for the sake of it....

It's very easy to get carried away with the commercialism of Christmas.

Seeyounearertime Thu 03-Dec-15 16:06:25

It's easy. If you only have £200 for everything, spend £200.

There's an old saying.
If your outgoings exceed your income, your upkeep becomes your downfall.

asuwere Thu 03-Dec-15 16:11:30

Top tip is to remember its the same date every year so easy to plan for. Either buy throughout the year or put a certain amount away each month, or mixture of both.
Only spend what you want to/can. People seem to spend for the sake of it. Don't buy enough food to feed an army, just buy what's needed, which shouldn't be too different to what you eat any other day/week.

BoxofSnails Thu 03-Dec-15 16:15:22

I shop from September onwards - a list that once done is done.

I make cards plus this year we've done half homemade (chutney, fudge, shortbread in a stocking and scarves for those interested) supplemented with bits we've bought.

DH and I challenge each other for the most creative present in a budget, this year £25.

Choose to make more of birthdays instead of Christmas in terms of expensive gifts.

We give to the local toy appeal, food bank, and homeless rucksack project - this keeps it real, and if I can't afford this I'm spending too much.

MakeTeaNotWar Thu 03-Dec-15 16:18:08

I shop in the January sales picking up Xmas decs and cards for the next year. I also pick up bargains as I see them throughout the year. I'm lucky to get some freebies from clients - wine etc - that I can regift

TheWoodenSpoonOfMischief Thu 03-Dec-15 16:31:08

Organise a secret Santa amongst the adults in the extended family. This way you only have to buy 1 decent gift rather than 10.

If you shop online, shop via cashback sites if you can make a saving.

Look out for vouchers from supermarkets. Most of them are doing some kind of savings if you spend a certain amount.

Bonkerz Thu 03-Dec-15 16:31:17

Ive been saving all year with park and got love to shop vouchers!
For the bits I couldn't buy with vouchers I have used online companies back in October and paid them in oct/Nov/Dec! By Jan I will be all good again to start saving for next year!

WowOoo Thu 03-Dec-15 16:48:41

I don't think I've ever avoided a Christmas financial hangover if I'm completely honest.

But, I do try.

Wrapping, cards and decorations in sales in January.
Lists for presents and food. Stick to these - try to keep impulse gift buying to a minimum.

Budget for each person and for food/drinks.

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Thu 03-Dec-15 16:56:53

I try not to spend more than I can afford and I try to buy throughout the year.

Xmas isn't really about spending. It's sad if it becomes all about money

Catsgowoof Thu 03-Dec-15 17:07:59

not going overboard, a few well thought out presents are better than a mountain of crap

BathshebaDarkstone Thu 03-Dec-15 17:41:21

I buy what I can afford, I don't have credit cards and I don't go overdrawn.

CheeseEMouse Thu 03-Dec-15 18:04:05

We have a budget and stick to it. Plus we have done away with buying presents for the sake of it - so stopping buying for anyone but the children.

Dolallytats Thu 03-Dec-15 18:22:23

I start buying presents early and try and get cards/wrapping in the Jan sales. I no longer buy for my mum, dad, sisters or brother-although this is the first year we've done this and I feel a little sad about it.

I have a DSS who is 30 and a DD who is 22. They are getting a small token gift of PJ's. I have budgeted carefully for my other DC's who are 2 and 7 and have cut the budget from last year. This year I became a nanny for the first time and have only bought DGS 2 toys, very restrained!!

I start my food shopping early and buy a couple of bits a week of the non perishables. It all helps.

Theimpossiblegirl Thu 03-Dec-15 18:22:28

I spread the cost by starting early. There are more bargains/voucher codes to be had in October than December. I also plan the food carefully, it's just a few days and I hate waste.

SomedayMyPrinceWillCome Thu 03-Dec-15 18:24:10

But Christmas cards, wrapping paper etc in Jan sales
Take advantage of all special offers through the year & stockpile presents
Frozen food is cheaper than fresh

SerenityReynolds Thu 03-Dec-15 18:29:43

I set a budget for kids/adults and stick to it rigidly. I've found it quite useful for the last few years to think about stuff for the DC and ask family for their ideas in early November so that I can get some presents on that months pay packet. Some earlier than that if I see something I think someone would like. Also have picked up some great bargains online in the Black Friday sales.

I buy Christmas cards and wrapping paper in January when they are really cheap. Also try to spread out food shopping by getting non-perishable stuff in a few items a week for the 4-6 weeks before Christmas.

coffeeisnectar Thu 03-Dec-15 18:38:09

Only spend what you have. Don't put anything on credit or on buy now pay later.

I finished shopping a few weeks ago. I'm waiting for one thing to arrive. Food is ordered and only need to buy a few food items nearer the time.

Good planning, never going into debt and if it's a low budget Xmas, so be it. I've had plenty of those but my kids got something even if it wasn't much. The important thing was they had food on a daily basis through the year, a roof over their heads and didn't have bailiffs knocking at the door at any point.

CheeseAtFourpence Thu 03-Dec-15 18:44:32

I put money away each month from January to October every year so I have a boost for Christmas saving. I also pick up bargains earlier in the year. I use the bargains threads on Mumsnet.

I don't buy stuff for buyings sake. A few well chosen presents with some stocking fillers is enough.

DH and I don't 'need' anything so don't tend to buy presents. We might go out for a meal or event instead.

I add some staples to the food shop in the run up - be it alcohol, foil, Christmas pudding etc. Our Aldi frozen puddings are already in the freezer too smile

elpth Thu 03-Dec-15 18:49:21

As many other people have said, it's simple: don't spend more than you can afford.
To me Christmas is all about spending time with family. I've been enjoying making stockings for DD and DS but they're v cheap ones! Plus one present under the tree from us (others from others). No need to get into debt. Buying early in sales helps save money too as does shopping around online.

wannabestressfree Thu 03-Dec-15 18:49:45

Save weekly with park. I love the fact I can't touch it so not tempted.
Make a strict list and start in september.
We have older children as well and ask for things to do if they want to buy us gifts like cinema and meal vouchers. We then use them in the dismal Jan....

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