What I Spend on Christmas: The 32-year-old beautician earning €30k who’s spending €500 on a trip away with her mum

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The average Irish family spends €2,700 over the festive season, but what about the savers and splurgers? In the fourth part of a new series, we speak to a beautician about her financial plans this Christmas

"I'm such a home bird and a huge Christmas lover. I cannot wait to spend the holidays eating my way through my parents' house and seeing my childhood friends in Cork.  I'm currently single and even though I have a huge group of friends I still tend to spend a lot of my finances on my family. People who know me would probably say I'm a bit flaithulach with my cash, but I like to spend what I have and until I settle down, I don't think there's much wrong with that.

This year, because I got emergency-taxed when I first started my job, I got a big chunk of change back and I'm really looking forward to treating my family to something nicer than usual. They don't know so I'm planning to surprise them.

I'm lucky that I can get a lot of my beauty stuff done in work so tan, nails, eyebrows will all be taken care of which is usually quite expensive. I like to get a Christmas day outfit — I've been doing that since my mam used to buy them when I was small. It wouldn't be Christmas without a new outfit. I'll probably get a few bits for going out over Christmas too.

I usually don't have much cash after I pay my rent and bills so I'm quite scant with my gifts but if I have it like I do this year, I can't not spend it! So much for saving for an apartment. I do dread January though because it is a long month for pay, but that's why I booked a trip for me and my mam so we have something to look forward to.


In our family, my sister and I exchange gifts and we usually get our parents something together. Last year we got them an Amazon Alexa and they love it. In work, we do Kris Kindle and our budget is €30 so I'm getting a BT voucher for my friend because she has her eye on something in there and has dropped hints. Me and my best friends from home go out on New Year's Eve for a big meal so that's like our gift to each other. I'm spending €60 on my sister this year — I'm just giving her money towards her hair extensions/tapes as they cost €200. I'm taking my mum to Oslo, Norway in January as a surprise. She has no idea. We get on great so I think she'll be thrilled and it is somewhere I've always wanted to see.

I work in Dublin but I'm heading home to my family in Cork so luckily I don't have to worry about decorations. I'll probably bring home a wreath for the front door or something like that when I arrive home. Thanks for the reminder! Happily, besides hair colouring (€150), I don't have to spend much on hair and beauty because of where I work — all the girls do treatments on each other outside of work time. Fashion is my downfall, though. I'll probably spend about €180 on clothes for over the festive period.

I am in charge of the wine this year so I'll get a few bottles for Christmas day at our local supermarket. (I used to work there so I know a bit about the wines as it has a really good off-licence area.) It is something I really enjoy doing and I'll probably spend about €80 as we have extended family coming over.

I'm scared to even think about how much I spend on socialising over Christmas. This is where most of my cash goes. I'd say I've about five big nights out and I'd probably spend about €80 on each. That's shocking, actually. My train ticket to Cork costs about €60 return and then taxis will cost about €50, I'd say.

As for the Christmas sales, I used to be mad for them but I prefer to stay home now. If I have a voucher I'll pop into town for a browse but I'm not an active shopper so to speak.

I'm probably spending a lot more than I'd usually spend. I am lucky I have it this year. The worrying part is that I can't see it getting any cheaper. It makes me think about saving a little more each month so I don't feel such an impact come January."

Seeking money diarists! If you want to be featured anonymously in our What I Spend at Christmas series, contact [email protected]

Read more: The 41-year-old newly back-to-work mum earning €45k who plans to spend €250 on Santa gifts
Read more: The 37-year-old digital marketer earning €25k who isn’t buying presents for her siblings
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