A Poor Girls Guide to Being Great With Money – Christmas Planning. (Part 2)

So last Wednesday the Irish Government hammered the living shit out of the Irish people with the sixth austerity budget in a row. And again it was the poor, the middle classes, but not the wealthy, who got their asses reamed with a cactus which had first been wound with barbed wire, then embedded with rusty razor blades. Thanks lads, we all really needed more to worry about right now…

Anyway around this time last year I wrote a short guide to having a somewhat thriftier Christmas. Well no sooner had I posted it than I started coming up with more ideas for having a happy, but affordable Christmas. Now I could have written them in a second guide last year, but let’s face it, I’m lazy, and that would have meant struggling to come up with ideas for this year. So with no further scrambling for excuses here is my second guide to enjoying Christmas without having to sell a kidney in the New Year.

Kriss Kringle: Let me start this by saying I HATE those two words. I loathe how they sound. When I speak them it’s like a pair of gnomes have climbed down my throat and are jabbing my vocal chords with ice-picks. But it is a great idea, and amongst a group of adults is a brilliant way for everyone to get a lovely gift, and save money. Seriously, if you have the option to do this, do it. You could reduce your list from say 6 gifts at 30 Euro a pop down to 1 at 50. For those who aren’t cheating by having a calculator in class (And why aren’t you cheating? Have you learned nothing over the past year of “Poor Girl” guides?) in that case you would have a saving of 130 Euro for each person in that group. Argue with the sense of that.

Boozing Up: The great thing about wine, and beer, and vodka, and delicious, delicious bourbon is that they don’t go off. (Or at least not quick enough to really matter.) This means there’s no reason, aside from self-control, that you can’t pick up those special offers on drinks over the course of the year. And in so doing save yourself a fortune on your Christmas shop. Also spreading the cost makes it far more bearable. Of course you could just not drink, but that’s madness, and crazy talk.

Sharing a Meal: I get the whole, “I have my own family now we should have dinner together, and visit ye later…” thing. Kids like to be in their own space, with their new toys. You like the idea of crawling back in to bed. You know all that jazz. But the thing is, if you all band together just for the meal, and share the costs, you can all end up saving big money, and still have a great time. Not to mention it’ll make Nanny happy. Of course you could do what I did one year, and spend the whole day alone in your apartment, watching telly, and eating reheated curry…fuck that was such a good day. Problem is it made everyone I love miserable thinking about me on my own. Anyway, ya share the costs people!

Re-use/Rebuild/Re-gift: People give out to me because I’m really careful not to tear the wrapping paper, because it could be reused. I’ve rebuilt PC’s using my MacGuyver like know-how, and my huge collection of spare parts are presents. Or given modified toys. I have even, it is true, given someone else, something which a well-meaning soul previously gave to me. They’re all valid ways to save money, and really, if you don’t use it then why shouldn’t someone else get some fun out of it?

Just frikkin’ make one!: Most of my friends have gotten pieces of chainmaile as gifts from me at some point. Usually at a point where I had zero money, but almost infinite time. I’ve also gotten beautiful gifts which were made just for me, my favourite of those being my hand drawn sketch of Pauley Perrette, the one that hangs over my bed, looking all sexy, and stuff. If you can’t afford to buy, make. I know the materials cost money, but usually for the price of one gift you can get the materials for several. And really most people will appreciate the effort more than the cost.

So that’s it, year two of my guides to a thrifty Christmas. Goddesses alone know what I’ll come up with for next years, ’cause I sure as hell don’t.

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