Okay so I’m sorry for mentioning that word when November has just started!
But I’ve been thinking lately about how to finance Christmas this year. We had an unexpected bill to pay last month which has had a knock on effect for the next few months. Suffice to say I am determined to keep the coming festive season as simple, low key and cost effective as possible. With money slightly tighter it’s also a good excuse to re-evaluate what we spend our money on at Christmas and why.
This year I have decided to fund all our Christmas spending (food, drink, presents, trips to family) from a few sources:
- Dedicated Savings Fund (I put a little money away every month to fund Christmas, family birthdays and a bit of our summer holiday spending. Of course it’s never enough!) £180
Tesco Clubcard vouchers. Actually we don’t have any this year as I haven’t shopped there for ages. Normally I turn the points into a voucher for eating out so we can have a family meal at Pizza Express, or somewhere similar. Not this year, though. £0
- Nectar points. I do have a few points but not more than £10. They will probably go towards food shopping. £10
- Boots Advantage Points. Every year I save all my points and, with some thoughtful ‘three for two’ purchases can pick up the girls’ stocking fillers from here. £15
- Quidco rewards. I signed up to the Quidco cashback site last year and, through some careful online purchasing, have made nearly £100 in cashback. I now have a dilemma: do I get these rewards paid into my Paypal account or exchange them (for a higher rate) for Amazon vouchers?
- Loose change. I collect all the coppers during the year and, apart from a splurge on the 2p slot machines on holiday, keep the rest. I can then exchange them for a supermarket voucher in the ‘Coinstar’ machine. It may amount to a couple of quid. £3ish
- Usual food & drink budget. I will try to use part of our usual monthly food budget to buy most of the seasonal food and drink. £150
- Facebook Sales. I have set myself a target of £50 to earn from selling equipment, clothing, toys and games we no longer need. This also helps to de-clutter the house before the next onslaught of presents from relatives. £50
I have begun to de-clutter and take stock of what I can sell for the latter project. And I have come across an interesting dilemma. You may remember a while ago I wrote this post about whether it’s right to make money from things that were given for free?
It is still something I feel strongly about.
However when a family friend gave us a lot of costume jewellery a few weeks ago I was very tempted to sell it on. The jewellery comes from places like Accessorize, Pilgrim, M&S and Claire’s Accessories and some of it has never been worn. I began to sort through it last week, detailing and pricing it.
But something felt wrong.I know the friend had given it for my girls to wear but they already have a lot of necklaces and bracelets. I’m sure she wouldn’t mind if I sold it for profit but I still felt uncomfortable.
So, after some serious thinking, I have decided to sell it online but pass all the funds onto Save the Children. Anything I don’t sell I will donate to the new-look store in Bath when I visit next week.
I’m going to write another post on what I’m going to spend my money on for Christmas this year. I’m also going to use this Christmas as an opportunity to slim down the list of whom we buy presents for (and who buys presents for us, when we don’t really need them).
How are you saving for Christmas? Is there anything you are going to do differently this year?