How to do Christmas on a budget

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becca-and-familyBecca had her first daughter, Braianna, when she was 15 and just about to start her last year of secondary school.

She’s now 21, succeeding in her career and gave birth to her son, Ruben, in August 2017.

She’s shared with us her Christmas on a budget tips to give other young parents ideas and inspiration. Enjoy!

Anyone who knows me knows that I am awful with money.

No matter how much comes in, I never seem to have any; especially around Christmas.

I’m currently on maternity leave which means I’ve lost two-thirds of my income, and money is super tight, so Christmas is on a budget this year and I’ve had to get a bit creative.

Here are some of my top tips for having a great Christmas without breaking the bank:

Christmas is all about family, so get everyone together and split the cost

One person can bring the turkey, another the veg, and your fun uncle can bring the booze. That way, the onus isn’t only on one person to provide everything (and also, you’ll probably get more food this way, just sayin’).

In the spirit of clubbing together

I’ve heard of more and more people adopting a ‘Secret Santa’ approach to present buying for adult family members. I LOVE this idea because a) I love Secret Santa, and b) it means you only have to buy one present, instead of twenty. I’ve also heard of pass the parcel and gift exchanges instead of traditional gift giving – think outside the box!

The ‘Four Present Rule’

I’ve never done this, but I’m considering it this year. The rule says you buy four presents – something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. In our case: something on Brai’s wish list, a new bed (belated), a party dress, and Where the Wild Things are, because we’ve never read it and apparently, we’re missing out!

If Secret Santa isn’t really your style or you don’t want to cut back on present quantity

Consider making your own! Shortbread and peppermint creams are easy to make with the kids and, wrapped in cute packaging, make excellent gifts for loved ones!

Grab a bargain!

Lots of people start Christmas shopping in the January sales. I’m in no way this organised, but thanks to Black Friday (or Black Fri-Two Weeks as it seems to be this year), you’re guaranteed to find big price drops in most big stores.

Be a loyal customer

That is, collect your loyalty points over the year and spend them at Christmas. Sainsbury’s runs a double up event in November where you can double your Nectar points, and Tesco’s currently have 3 for 2 on toys, so if you use your Clubcard points as well, you can really slash the cost of things. In a similar stream, don’t forget to get cashback on online purchases, and save your pennies in a jar to cash in at the end of the year.

Finally, just buy less!

It’s SO tempting to buy your kids tonne of presents, because there’s not much better than waking up on Christmas day and not being able to see the floor, but honestly, they don’t need a million new toys and there are so many other ways to make Christmas really special (that won’t have you Googling ‘can I sell my spleen to medical science?’). And the kids won’t hate you either, I promise.

Hopefully these tips help you save some pennies this festive period, and whether you’re having an intimate one or a full-on winter wonderland, have an amazing Christmas!

becca-budget-christmas

Read more advice on budgeting and save money as a young parent:

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