Look, I’m not a sadist. I’m not getting off on inflicting pain on you – but I just strongly need to be brutally honest with you. Ho ho ho ladies and gents, it’s time to start thinking about Christmas!
If you do plan on dropping some cash for Christmas (there’s a lot to be said about a no-spend on presents Christmas btw!), you have a few options.
- Be rich, so when you get paid in November, you can spend hundreds (thousands for some people!) on presents/food etc. NOT RICH? (Me neither) OTHER OPTIONS ARE:
- Stick it on a credit card/get a loan – pay it off over 2020, end up spending more
- Start putting money away now, during every payday and have a Christmas fund meaning your Christmas day isn’t going to bring you any (or minimal debt) over the next year.
This isn’t Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, so I’m not going to ask you phone a friend or ask the audience for the right answer – and usually, I’m not one to tell you what to do, just provide you with options, but DING DING DING, there’s blatantly a right answer here. Prepare for an easy life!
Where to get cheap/discounted (but good) presents
At this point, I’m going to do the obligatory money blogger thing where I tell you that Christmas is all about family, love and partridges in a pear tree – but come on, it’s kind of about presents, food and booze – which cost money!
BUT you can spend less on these things. First off, join my group Luxury on a Budget where I post really good deals I find online. I learned my craft as the Dealshunter when I worked at MoneySavingExpert, so know what I’m doing. The group has been a bit quiet over the summer, but I’m going to ramp up the content as we move into winter.
A Christmas day fund
So here’s where it really counts. To avoid a headache next year, from this payday onwards, for a few months, put some of your wage away for Christmas spending.
You know it makes sense! I know putting money away when things are tight as it is isn’t easy, but if you ARE going to spend this Christmas (remember, you don’t have to!)- getting to grips with it now will save you spending more on interest and fees in the future.
If I was going to ask you to be super-sensible, I’d get you to budget what you think Christmas will cost you. Items include:
- secret santa
- that bloody Elf on the Shelf and the million things you’ll have to come up with to entertain the kids over A MONTH
Etc etc, add it up, stick a bit more on for luck, divide by three paydays (or weekly). This way, you are properly covered.
But I’m not going to ask you to do that. Sure, if you want to – do it (you won’t regret it!), but I know what I’m like. I’m not brilliant at sitting down and planning, so I don’t want to put others off saving if they’re a bit like me.
So what I’m asking you to do, is to think about it. Put what you can away when you get paid because it’s ALL going to help.
Don’t forget, you could try and do a couple of things to make some extra cash over the next few months too. Maybe sell all that junk/old toys – to make way for the new stuff!?
I’m personally a big fan of JobSpotter and will be hitting up the streets big-time over the next few months. I’ve made a lot of money and paid for most of my presents doing it last year.
I hate the term ‘side-hustle’, but both MoneySavingExpert and Which? have massive guides on boosting your income. Might be worth it if it covers Christmas. Careful when deciding what to do, so that you actually get the money in time for Christmas – surveys etc can take months and months to get a payout.
Are you still with me? Or furious I’ve even brought up the C-word? ha! Let me know when you start sorting out Christmas in the comments.