Christmas is almost here! I’m sure you are aware of that but are you done and ready for Christmas?
I’ve been so disorganised this year that what would have been bought, wrapped and under the tree for some relatives is currently still on the shop shelf! Yikes!
As a parent of young children I tried really hard to buy early but always got caught up in the festive spirit in December and end up buying more and spending more. Does this sound familiar?
These days it is easier to buy for my two daughters as they are older and usually have a list as long as their arm. Alternatively they only want 2 things and usually they are budget busting presents. Not helpful really!
But it is the organising and buying of things other than presents where you can really come unstuck without some extra planning.
Even though we only have a week or so to go you can still do some last minute organising to make sure you don’t blow your remaining budget.
Hosting Christmas Guests – Last minute planning
As a parent and host have you thought about:
- Entertainment for your younger guests?
- Detailed food menu for every meal
- Drinks for everyone including non-alcoholic?
- A food budget to keep your spending in check?
I am sure you will have already thought about and planned things like a turkey (if you having one) and what you will have for your Christmas dinner. But what about the rest of the day? And the day before or day after?
I find myself writing list after list from about now until the final moments before guests arrive.
Lists about menu planning, food for each meal, what needs buying for each of those meals. The timings of meals and activities for each day.
Then there are lists about snacks, drinks, who is cooking what and when. When do you want family to arrive, what time to offer the first snacks, does it accompany alcohol or is it a bit early?
Life’s too short to stuff a mushroom
When you are a parent of younger children you have to factor in their energy levels going through the roof and helping them enjoy family time. At the same time as still trying to cook a celebratory meal and everything else.
Trying to do it all can be an impossible task when you have younger children at home all day during the holidays.
And you can fall into the trap of trying to do everything the way your parents did or how the festivities are presented on social media and in the news. Which of course costs a lot more money than you had budgeted for.
Cut yourself some slack and look for shortcuts to make your life easier. One of my relatives always says “Life’s too short to stuff a mushroom”. How right they are at this time of year!
Prioritise what you really want to get done then look for cheaper alternatives. You can order almost everything online these days and get it delivered. Note to self – get this done!
Look for discount codes at the same time and pull a little of your budget back. This parent’s guide to Christmas has got both handy tips to keep your budget in check and voucher codes so you spend less.
Student Christmas Savings
I don’t know about your student children but I know mine usually budget their student loan and money to last them until they come home for Christmas. Forgetting they have 3-4 weeks holiday to pay for.
Having had a taste of freedom that comes with being away at college or university students have got used to spending their own money and having a good time. And quite rightly too!
Christmas can be an expensive time for homecoming students and even those who stay at home to study.
Hooking up with friends who have been away, wanting to celebrate with friends both at university and at home means their budget has to stretch twice as far.
Then there are presents to be bought and 3-4 weeks of time to fill and you can see why so many students don’t have any money around Christmas time.
So this student’s guide to Christmas saving is something that would help with their own Christmas budget and planning for their holiday time.
For more Christmas saving advice read these posts: