At this time of year many personal finance bloggers will be giving out lots of great money saving advice and tips to help you get through Christmas.
That’s fantastic, it’s what we’re here for.
However, I’m here to change things up a bit.
What if you could learn to say no that little bit more?
Although I don’t have them myself, I was a kid once and I understand the pressures parents feel to get their children everything they want.
The amount of adverts in between children’s TV shows is borderline crazy, they know what they’re doing and they know the pressure your little bundles of joy will put you under to get that must have toy.
But, let’s not lay all the blame at the feet of children, adults can be just as bad!
Social media has become the biggest outlet of ‘Keeping up with the Jones’s’ , a fantasy land of make believe perfect bliss – blah blah blah, yada yada yada!
And we, the adults, have fell for it BIG TIME!
Learning to say no this year is the greatest gift you can give yourself and your pocket, here’s why.
You waste an obscene amount of food
Would you normally attempt to eat a weeks worth of food in one sitting?
No, I didn’t think so, in which case why attempt it on Christmas day?
Work out what you’re actually going to eat, make a plan and stick to it.
If only one person likes Christmas pudding tell them no pudding this year and go for an option you all like.
Research from Unilever revealed last year Brits wasted around 4.2 million Christmas dinners – 4.2 million dinners chucked in the bin without a second thought, and we moan we’re skint!
To put it into context that’s the equivalent of 263,000 turkeys, 7.5 million mince pies, 740,000 slices of Christmas pudding, 17.2 million Brussels sprouts, 11.9 million carrots and 11.3 million roast potatoes.
As my old Grandma would have said, “Your eyes are too big for you belly!”
Stop buying and cooking too much food, it’s a waste of both your time and money.
If you do end up with leftovers, use them for other meals throughout the week.
Or, if you’re feeling charitable, make up some lunches for the homeless – people who will appreciate it more than most.
Set a budget and stick to it
It’s so easy to get carried away in sales around Christmas – Black Friday has a lot to answer for.
What do you really want to spend this Christmas?
Think about it seriously, you may have already spent what you planned for so why pick more stuff up purely because a retailer ‘assures’ you it’s on offer.
If your kids are anything like my friend’s children the chances are there will be a stack of toys that lay brand new, unloved and never used for the rest of the year.
Avoid taking your kids shopping with you at all costs and learn to say no more!
Stop wasting money on adult presents
I’ve noticed a lot of people are getting more and more into this in recent years.
Do you really need a £10-£20 gift from every adult in your family?
When buying their present, consider how much you used the present they bought you last year.
Consider just buying for the children going forward, or maybe a Secret Santa for adults so you can spend a bit more and get a gift someone will actually like, with the added bonus of only having to buy one – saving you both time and money.
Adult presents – just say no!
Say Foxtrot Oscar to people who only want to see you at Christmas
This is the one that bugs me the most.
For some reason I have a crazy amount of friends that only seem to want to come out of hibernation at Christmas.
They have eleven other months of the year to choose from, but December, the most expensive of them all, is their preferred choice to visit.
And when I say visit, I mean they want to go out for dinner or drinks.
Well, this year they’ve had a bit of a shock, because I’ve said no.
Not no I don’t want to see you, just no I’ll come to see you at a more convenient time.
Next year I’ll be planning ahead and getting these sorts of trips in early!
You do not have to impress social media to have a great Christmas
Just because Kate says she ordered magnums of champagne for Christmas day, doesn’t mean you have to go out and match her.
Chances are Kate is really drinking Aldi sparkling wine out of a champagne flute.
Social media has turned us into a world of Hyacinth Bucket’s, always trying to keep up with what we see, or what we think we see!
The Instagram picture of the perfect Christmas dinner will probably have a screaming baby in their highchair cut out of the frame.
That picture of the perfect family setting is hiding a ton a wrapping paper, empty boxes and extreme stress levels on mums face.
The perfect day doesn’t exist, life has become one big filter, stop trying to live up to it!
Saying no doesn’t automatically make you the Grinch who stole Christmas.
Christmas is the season of goodwill to all men, not the season to be silly with our money.
If you’ve fell hook, line and sinker for Christmas consumerism, have a long hard think about what Christmas means to you.
If that isn’t starting the New Year facing mounting debts and potential bankruptcy, try and start cutting back, it starts with saying no!
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