Here’s how to save money and your sanity this Christmas

With the silly season fast approaching and the nightmare of the Christmas shops still to do, here are a few tried and tested tips to get through Xmas without adding ten years to your life.

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call the paramedics – I’m done

Emergency gifts

We’ve all been there – the nightmare of being presented with a gift from someone we least expect.  And then you’re hanging there in the breeze, with your frozen festive smile thinking ‘what in the hell am I going to give these people?’.  One word – Panettone – the ultimate Italian livesaver.  Buy three or four, wrap them up and hey presto – a Christmas gift which is a definite winner.  And if you don’t have any emergencies this year – they’re good for birthdays, or for the family to munch their way through over the next few months.  Best of all it will only set you back about ten bucks –  fifteen at most if you go for the fancy ones.

Think charity

There are only so many times you can buy Aunty Vera a pair of slippers or a tube of hand cream right?  So change the record – get in now and suggest everyone gives to charity, rather than to each other.  Funnel your hard earned moolah to where it will actually do some good.  Given that the ACT has the second highest homelessness rate in the country, we can all do more.  Not only that, an astonishing 17% are under the age of 12.  How can this be?  It’s too heartbreaking to contemplate.  So let’s not look the other way this Christmas – ditch the pointless shopping and gift-giving and give to those who really need it.

Homemade is best

Put your wallet away and get creative – make things, bake things – find the artiste in you and let rip.  You’ve watched the tv shows, bought the mags but now’s the time to shift from watching to doing.  And you’ll be killing two birds with one stone – saving a fortune and giving the left hand side of your brain a workout.  Who needs to spend five dollars on one sheet of over-priced Christmas gift wrap when all you need is brown paper and a few rolls of coloured ribbon.  You can do this!

My work here is done – a few easy strategies to save your wallet and prevent a Christmas migraine.  But over to you – what are your favourite time and money savers to get you through the craziness of the festive season?

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