10 tips to avoid a financial hangover this Christmas
Is your bank balance blissfully in the black, or as red as Rudolph's nose? To help us all avoid the budgeting blues this January, we asked Mumsnetters to share their tips for avoiding a festive financial hangover
1. Embrace your competitive nature
"My husband and I challenge each other for the most creative present within a budget - this year it's £25."
"What really keeps me in check is competing with myself to come under the budget I have set."
2. Work out whom you're trying to impress
"It helps that my children are younger, but I remind myself that generally they don't care how expensive/inexpensive the gift is."
3. Try not to leave it until the last minute
"I find it quite useful to think about stuff for the kids and ask my family for their ideas in early November, so that I can get some presents on that month's pay packet."
4. You could always start planning really, REALLY early...
"I shop in the January sales, picking up Christmas decorations and cards for the next year."
5. Or ignore all that, and hold your nerve
"Shop on Christmas Eve when all the prices are slashed."
6. Learn to spread the pain
"I have a £1 jar that I pop the odd bit of change in every now and then. This really is fantastic because in November I opened it and discovered I'd managed to put away £270."
"What's worked for me is to have a second current account which functions as a holiday account - we put money into it each month to build up for our summer holiday, then after that to build up for Xmas."
"Christmas is the same date every year so should be easy to plan for. Either buy throughout the year or put a certain amount away each month, or mixture of both."
7. Know where to find the best bargains
"I check the Mumsnet bargain threads plus sign up to email alerts from my favourite retailers."
8. Homespun can mean quids-in
"This year we've done half homemade (chutney, fudge, shortbread and scarves) supplemented with bits we've bought."
9. Spend AND save
"I use a credit card all year for day-to-day spends, and pay it off in full each month when it falls due. I collect all the reward points and then, by the end of the year, I tend to have £250-300 in reward vouchers."
10. And, finally, know what's really important
"We give to the local toy appeal, food bank, and homeless rucksack project. If I can't afford this, I'm spending too much."
"I remind myself it's just one day. In six months' time we're not going to be talking about the quality of the mince pies/wrapping paper/stuffing."
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Last updated: about 2 months ago