|Santa cuts back on reindeer|
A stupid question that no one really wants to hear the answer to. Especially, it seems, when your answer is: "Yes thanks. I haven't really got much to do anyway."
The reply you're supposed to offer is something about being stressed, exhausted and broke. That the annual season of excess is being seen as an endurance challenge and it's only going to be any good if you've just about given your all on every front.
Excuse me, what a lot of nonsense!
Christmas is supposed to be fun and a good excuse to spend time with those you like, doing things you want to. (Obviously as well as a religious festival and celebration of Jesus' birth)
Here are my tips for frugal festivities to add to the #XmasSavingTips:
- Agree not to buy presents for the adults in your family (or otherwise). No one needs a gift set of smellies, some socks or a box set of something.
- If you must give gifts, set a limit or do a secret Santa.
- Don't bother giving much to little kids - save your money until they present you with a correctly spelled and properly punctuated list. Babies don't know it's Christmas and neither do dogs, cats or ponies.
- It is a couple of days of over-eating not a six-month siege - you don't need half the food you're going to buy in the supermarket. Make a list and stick to it.
- If you don't like your colleagues, don't go to the office party, that'll save a few quid.
- Keep track of what you've bought, don't - as I did a couple of times - stash things bought in advance and then forget about them.
- You probably don't need a new dress.
- Ok, you do need a new dress.
- Last year's decorations will be fine.
- Shop smart - don't blindly enter the high street fray. Have a good google first.
- If you must buy things then use something like Quidco to save a few extra pounds - or the equivalent to give to charity.
This post has been brought to you by Tesco because I do have a few humbugs to buy. At Tesco Mobile you could save money buy getting a Samsung Galaxy Ace - available for £12.50 a month including 500 free minutes, 5,000 texts and 500 MB of data. Alternatively, there's a Blackberry Curve available for £125 on pay as you go. You can find other money saving suggestions on twitter at #XmasSavingTips.