plonkee money an english-er's thoughts on personal finance

December 10, 2007

too late to have an expensive Christmas?

Filed under: philosophical — plonkee @ 8:05 pm

Planning for Christmas is a lot like planning for retirement. The earlier you start saving, the more money you will have to work with. It’s also the case that the later you start saving, the more you will need to scale back your monetary plans.

If you haven’t got a stash of money hidden away for Christmas 2007, it’s already too late to have an expensive Christmas.

Fortunately, there is a solution.

You don’t need to have an expensive Christmas to have a great Christmas. There are lots of fun, frugal ways to make your Christmas money go further. But all the frugality in the world isn’t enough for you to have a great Christmas. But these four steps might be:

  1. Think about all the traditions and expectations that you and others close to you have
  2. Work out which traditions each member of your immediate family enjoys the most and work out how to do that (frugally).
  3. Work out which expectations mean the most to your immediate family, and add those in.
  4. Skip the rest.

The key is working out what is really important, only making those things a priority and sticking to your guns.

For me, traditions that are important, are:

  • attending a Christmas market
  • getting nice presents for the most important people to me
  • singing some Christmas carols
  • having a Christmas lunch with crackers and Christmas pudding
  • spending Christmas Day with all available siblings
  • catching up with friends during the Christmas season

That’s it. Nothing else gets done unless it’s free and I have the time.

Of course it helps that I’m single so I only have to answer to myself, but if you have a family of two or more, you just need to focus on what it is that each of you really want – if you need to compromise, remember that there’s always next year.

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