My friend Katie has always had a lot more dosh than me. Her parents were from old money which was evident when we were at school together and she went on to a high powered and highly paid career in advertising and ended up marrying an extremely wealthy man.
So what has this to do with Christmas you are asking. Well, over the years Katie and I have exchanged Christmas gifts, and I was always struggling to keep up with her fabulous presents of Tiffany bracelets or extravagant hampers, and had to start saving all year to get anywhere close to her gifts.
But it is only in recent years that we decided to come clean and stop the pressure all round, as she was running out of ideas for me as a creative struggling writer, and I out of cash to buy someone who had everything.
We took a tip from the Archbishop of Canterbury, although Katie is definitely not religious, and decided to donate any present money to a charity of our choice instead of indulging each other, and got a lot more fun and satisfaction as a result.
We discovered there are a number of charities who have gift cards for the festive season, and as charity is not just for Christmas, we went on to make a donation all year round. Perhaps this could also help you to decide which Charity is close to your heart for you to make an ongoing donation however small.
If you are on a super saver budget this year, there are some last minute tips and ideas for you to save money.
This is the last week for online ordering if you don’t want to pay over the odds for delivery, as this can add a lot onto your bill. There are also a number of super saver delivery websites which search for ways of getting you free or low payment orders and deliveries.
Check out www.moneysavingexpert.com which is a great website to check out offers across the board, and Martin Lewis of breakfast TV offers some sound advice on saving money in all areas of spending.
If you have left it late to buy your Christmas decorations House of Fraser are offering all of theirs half price, so you have made a good decision to delay this purchase. One thing for sure, this is money well spent as you can use them year after year.
Some stores have already begun their half price Christmas sale, for instance ASOS, Kurt Geiger and Miss Selfridge are a good place to begin looking for those early bargains and you will miss the Christmas rush as a result, both online and in the shops.
So give yourself a break and pull back on your spending, so that the New Year can really get off to a great start, and you may even be able to treat yourself with the money you have saved.