10th Sep 2020
We’ve had all of lockdown to make gift lists
Okay, we know the sight of any Christmas paraphernalia right now probably fills you with rage. It’s only September and far too early to think about decorating, gift shopping or prepping the feast for the big day. But as much as we’d like to delay the inevitable, it doesn’t hurt to plan ahead to make our lives easier in December.
We’ve all had a rough year, and if you’ve been furloughed, or had your hours at work reduced, or even lost your job completely, you’re probably already considering the financial stresses of Christmas this year. Your first priority, as always, should be to make sure that you have enough money to cover essentials, but beyond that, if you’re wondering how to budget for a blowout at Christmas, there are some great tricks to try out there.
Our favourite? The Envelope method. Buy a pack of plain envelopes and number each one from one to fifty. Mix them up, shuffle them, and leave them in a safe place. Every few days, pick an envelope at random, and whichever number is displayed on the front, is the amount of money you’ll put in. Whether it’s a euro coin or a fifty euro note, commit to keeping your habit til all the envelopes are full. At the end of the process, you’ll have €1275 in cash to spend where you really need it, whether that’s on food, gifts, or just on a treat for yourself.
If you find the rigidity of the Envelope method too much to commit to, try the spare change method. While we all may be focusing on cashless payments right now, there’s still great ways to save your spare change on each transaction. If you use Revolut, for example, you can set up a Vault system, where, on each payment, any spare change will be transferred to a savings kitty, and you can withdraw it whenever you need it.
If you don’t have an automatic method, check in on your bank account at the end of the week and add your transactions manually, seeing where your change lies, and transfer it into your savings. It may not seem like much, but every little helps, and you’ll really notice the difference at the end of each month.
However you choose to save, whether it’s with a trick or with old-school discipline, you’ll thank yourself come December, even if it’s just pocket money to grab some extra Christmas pints.
Read more: 25 feel-good, cocoon-worthy films
Read more: My kitchen is tiny: these are the essentials I use (and what I wish I hadn’t bought)
Read more: How to recognise your emotional spending triggers during Covid
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