Archive for July 19th, 2012


A Poor Girls Guide to Being Great With Money – Christmas Planning. (Part 1)

So with only 158 days ’til Christmas it felt like time to talk about getting ready for that most expensive of holidays. And at this moment several of you are staring at the screen in utter disbelief. Right, reread the title of this post, it’s okay I’ll wait. *hums*

See? “Poor Girls Guide…” if it still doesn’t make sense that I’m about to speak about Christmas in July then you need to read the first article in this series. Don’t worry we’ll still be here when you get back.

Right, does it make sense now? Good.

The fact is that Christmas is coming. And no matter what you do, if you have anyone at all you care about in your life then it’s going to cost a significant amount of money. It’s going to cost a hell of a lot more if there are children in your life. So assuming, like a lot of people right now, you’re living on a pretty tight shoestring it’s time to start planning ahead. You’ll thank yourself for doing so later.

So here are my top five tips for a less financially stressful Christmas.

 1: Make a Nice List. Right now you know with a high degree of certainty who you’ll need present’s for. Sure it’s possible one or two extra people will pop up between now, and then, but in truth you mostly know who you’re buying for already. So make a list of those people, order them in importance, and make a little note of ideas for their presents.

 2: The Summer sales are a great time to gather presents. It’s not just clothing stores that have sales at the end of the Summer. So do electronics stores, music stores, book stores, they all do. And better still they don’t all have their end of season sales at precisely the same time, so sales season can go on for almost a month. So if you buy just one present each week you’ll be able to get good quality at knock down prices.

 3: Remember that many businesses still have a lay-away system for larger purchases, and that 10 Euro a week is a lot more manageable than say 200 in one chunk. So if you have to spend large amounts of money on one or two purchases discuss this option with the retailer rather than adding to your debts.

 4: If the person you’re buying for has the right sort of attitude keep an eye out for something extraordinary in your local thrift shops. Some of my favourite gifts ever were found for me in local thrift shops by my Partner in Crime. Not just clothing either, these shops often have exercise equipment, DVD’s, books, CD’s, jewellery, even furniture donated to them.

 5: It’s not just about planning for presents try to also put a little money aside for your Christmas food shop as well. This can be a small amount, even 2 Euro a week will add up by the time Christmas week rolls around. And speaking from experience, even an extra 20 quid can make a huge difference for that particular shopping trip.

Christmas will always be expensive no matter what you do, but with some careful planning, and a sharp eye for a bargain you can at least spread out the cost. And let’s face it anything that makes Christmas easier is a bloody blessing.

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