Learning To Say No Will Be The Best Gift To Yourself This Christmas

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!

Related Article: 13 tricks To Spend Less When Shopping

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!

Related Article: Make Your Secret Santa Count With #GiveOrGift

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!

Final word

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! 

Thinking Thrifty

Thinking Thrifty

David Naylor is the editor of the Thinking Thrifty blog. An award winning personal finance and lifestyle blogger, he shows how it is possible to live extremely well for less.
Thinking Thrifty
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20 thoughts on “Learning To Say No Will Be The Best Gift To Yourself This Christmas

  1. Totally agree with people showing off on Instagram etc all of their Christmas gear. I am really not bothered about that. Whilst it would be nice, I am not in the financial place where I am able to do that, and I’m getting really good at not caring at all what people think about it!

    Ha, it is harder to say no to kids when you have them 🙂 but it’s all about managing their expectations. My daughter asked for a Hatchimal – I said no, it’s too expensive, and she just said ‘ok’ and forgot all about it.

    1. Looks like you raised a good one! We weren’t too bad as kids either, we knew mum struggled to get everything we wanted and we didn’t want to put anymore stress on here than needed. I do always remember though worrying that my pile wouldn’t stack up to my friends (one in particular that got EVERYTHING!), however I’m glad looking back now. He’s still a big spoiled brat to this day!

  2. I need to be better at saying no in general not just at Christmas. My little one is better at convincing me than his dad that he should get something. We don’t have to buy for anyone else and he doesn’t get loads but still.

  3. I have definitely cut back this year! I have got my son a few presents and that is all I am buying. He has hundreds of toys hardly ever played with and if you ask him what he wants he cannot answer you so I refuse to go out and buy presents just for the sake of it. Im sure in a couple more years he’ll be flipping through the argos catalogue but luckily this year he is just excitd for christmas which I really love. I have also said to other people that isn’t immediate family that we will not be giving presents this year… takes the stress off straight away.
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  4. I hate the “insta Christmasses” particularly when it is just showing off the insane about of unnecessary gifts. I am quite fortunate that my kids like relatively low-cost things so they end up getting quite a lot but I stay within budget, for example my son is really into card games at the moment so we bought a set for happy families etc. plus a football and he’s golden!
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  5. Everything you mentioned is spot on, and are all great ideas. We’ve cut back massively this year in order to stay on track with our financial goals. It’s hard, but I can’t imagine spending a bunch of money on toys that won’t get played with, as opposed to paying off a debt early. We’ve also been focusing on trying to give the kids more experiences rather than stuff – and so far, so good!

  6. I love this!! I think we need to say “no” more often all year long. Those people who come out of the wood works during the holidays frustrates me too.

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