Christmas Crisis



  • How about taking your two bubs to a carol concert at the local church, a lovely warming experience, usually free and mince pies and tea are frequently served at the end.

    As long as your children have love and a warming experience...Christmas is about families.

    Have a great time and keep your chin up. x x
    :whistle: Whistle while you work...
    YORKSHIRELASS Posts: 6,289 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    Hi, just wanted to say thanks to everyone for posting. I feel much more positive now. A friend gave me two bits of good advice today. She said not to go on at the kids too much telling them there wont be any expensive Christmas presents this year. The whole point is to make Christmas really special for them without them even realising we havent spend much. You dont want them to be expecting rubbish presents and be disappointed before they have even opened anything. Secondly, she said that having to do Christmas on a budget means that you have to think so much more about what to buy, and thats not a bad thing. The presents you give mean a lot more than if you had just bought the first thing you came across and stuck it on the credit card.
  • ixwood
    ixwood Posts: 2,550 Forumite
    edited 3 October 2009 at 5:20AM
    Ebay is your friend. And this site and hotukdeals and all the discount websites. There's loads of bargains available these days.

    You'd be surprised how far £50 or whatever can stretch.

    If you don't mind me asking, what were the unexpected bills by the way? That's where a lot of people fall down with budgeting. Most bills aren't really that unexpected and it's easy to forget about annual/irregular expenses.

    I have Standing Orders to transfer money monthly for car bills (mot, tax, insurance, tyres, servicing, maintenance/repairs), Xmas/birthdays, white/household goods and appliances (replacemnet or repairs), house maintenance (At some point in the future, the roof will need redoing, pointing redone, new gutters etc), boiler (it'll need repairing or replacing at some point), new car fund and holidays.

    Everything goes out at the start of the month and what's left is spendable. When you write it all down, you can see how it's very easy to routinely overspend on a monthly basis and then get caught out when a big bill comes.
  • GarryJ68
    GarryJ68 Posts: 281 Forumite
    This will be my first Christmas since I had my LBM. I had saved up some money for Christmas presents but unfortunately we have had a few unexpected bills and there is very little left. I know the right thing to do is to sit down and work out what (if any!!) spare cash I will have over the next couple of months and do a budget but I wondered if anyone had any tips how to make this work in practice?

    My kids are 9 and 11 and I have already said to them there wont be loads of cash for presents this year and the 9 year old said "thats OK, Santa will bring us some presents anyway".

    Its soooo tempting to just put it on credit and I am scared of falling off the wagon.

    I have also had a conversation with my sister (my family are big on Christmas) and told her money was a bit tight this year and suggested we scale down the present buying. Her reponse was "oh dont worry, I understand, you just buy us what you can afford". This wasnt really what I wanted, I dont want to buy her family really cheap presents and then receive something expensive in return.

    I know Christmas should be about a lot more than presents but there is just so much pressure to spend. Wish I could fast forward to January and skip it altogether. Does anyone else feel the same?
    I feel for you yorkshirelass.... if money is tight christmas is challenging.

    I would say don't be afraid to be honest about your situation... having been in a lot of debt in the past - I think I tended to try and keep problems a secret... when I started to be a bit more honest things seemed to work out a lot better... and family etc started to understand and I didn't get the response of - oh poor Garry... everyone we very supportive.

    With the kids though I found myself doing a clearout in the house of stuff I didn't need and selling them in newspapers, car boot sales and ebay... one christmas I raised enought to ensure they didn't go without.

    I know its tough - stick in there kid... good luck!
    The whole world is a circus - don't be the clown!
  • I have veto agreements with most people now so that the only people I buy for are my niece, nephew and my parents (my parents always tell me not to but I want to) but my brother and his wife are in a really tough financial position this year (so I might re-start them but try and get something that they need and would otherwise have to buy for themselves)

    It was difficult to get people to take the veto seriously but I 'sold' it by saying that I would rather see them than buy presents; they were all OK with that.
    £34,547 (Dec 07); Current debt: £zilch (Debt free December 2010)
    Sealed Pot #389 (2010=£133)
  • I suggested secret santa to our family a few years ago and we've been doing it ever since, it's such a hit! Apart from the huge expense we avoid, we also don't have to find room for all the extra stuff you acquire year on year. It's worth a suggestion.

    I do agree with another poster that it's about being together and not tons and tons of stuff you don't need. I would like to make a majority of presents this year if I have time, I can bake tasty things, there are some great recipes around. I am also going to have a go at some sugar or salt scrub recipes, you can get them online.

    There is a way around spending a fortune and in my opinion it's a lot more fun and in keeping with the spirit of Christmas! x
    Me, DH and DD (17 months) clearing our debt for a better future. Then (LBM) = £21,636.43 (Oct 2009) Now = £12128.07 (44%)
    Try to get credit card to £2k by April 2012 (was £3014.94)
    PADing to clear CC 1/1/12 TOTAL: £32.00
    Ditch 100 in January challenge: lost count but way over 100!!!/100
  • Butti
    Butti Posts: 5,014 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post
    I know to some extent I am just repeating what others have said, but I love presents that people have made.

    I have dug out a pattern I had years ago for a beach bag / shopping bag and will be making them for my key friends and female relatives.

    I have been using the £5 Boots No 7/Ruby & Miller vouchers you get given in Boots from time to time to stockpile pots of nail varnish.

    My friend makes Jams and Chutneys, and a couple of years ago she knitted fine scarves in sparkly wool that looked really expensive.

    The only prob is buying for the men in my life!

    Debt LBM (08/09) £11,641. DEBT FREE APRIL 2021.
    Diary 'Butti's journey : A matter of loaf or death'.
    Diary 2 'The whimsical tale of the Waterbed of Debt'
    48% off mortgage

    'one day I will be rich and famous…for now I'll just have to settle for being poor and incredibly sexy'. Vimrod Member of MIKE'S :cool: MOB
    YORKSHIRELASS Posts: 6,289 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    Thanks all. Ixwood, I agree with what you say about proper budgeting and would love to do what you do and build up a fund for emergencies. The problem is that I have debts and very little spare cash. I feel that for now my priority has got to be getting these debts paid off and this is where any spare money goes. The emergency fund issue is always a difficult one for anyone in debt and I know there has been lots of discussion about it on this site. I do put an amount aside every month for car repairs etc but cant see the sense in building up big amounts of savings when the credit card companies are charging me so much interest.
  • angela30
    angela30 Posts: 57 Forumite
    hello everyone.
    last year we was on a budget and i asked my kids what they got for xmas the year before none of them could remember all that could remember was that i made them beautie baskets but could not remember anything els.
    so last xmas i made them beautie baskets again i got the two older girls a diary each which they still write in everynight.
    we got them loads of games and i made them some hats.
    i spent more money on food than gifts.

    last week i asked my children what we got them and what we did for xmas.
    this time around they said mum we got and named everything.
    this time they said we had lovely family dinners we played games and stayed up all night..

    once my gandad told me that children and adults dont remember gifts they remember time. i never believed him before.
    i always spent too much money at xmas and was still paying for it in the summer.but after last xmas i have to agree with him.
    we never remember gifts WE ALWAYS REMEMBER TIME AND LOVE..

    this year i have a £25 budget for each of my girls 14-11-7
    £10 budget for my hubbie.
    £10 budget for my uncle
    £5 for my mum and hubbies parents.
    a £10 budget for things we can make as gifts. which i have now got a box of things.

    but my biggest budget is £100 for food..
    so we can have a few very nice xmas and new year dinners..

    it had taken me a few years...
    but i now understand xmas is not about the gifts about money.
    its about family its the one time of year that we are all togetter.
    i would never go back to how i used to be..

    so if you only have a tiny budget than thats all you have..
    dont spend beyound your means....
    whats more important?????????????????????????????????????????????
    YORKSHIRELASS Posts: 6,289 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    Wow, Angela30, great post. You are an example to us all and should be proud of your girls. I wish everyone would take your stand on Christmas, no matter how much money they have, and I am sure we would all enjoy it more.
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