Ireland’s Guide To Money And Living

Get ready for Christmas

Christmas shopping

With Halloween over, some shoppers (and a lot of retailers) will be turning their eyes towards Christmas. With seven weeks to go till December 25th, we’ve got some savvy tips to help you cope with the financial burden this holiday season.

Start now

The sooner you begin your savings, the better. If you want to do your shopping in the last week before Christmas, that leaves you with six weeks to save. If you could set aside €80 each week between now and then that leaves you with a pot of €480 – not a huge amount but enough for a decent gift list and a nice turkey!

Christmas clear out

If you’re short of funds, consider getting rid of unwanted items on DoneDeal, or eBay to raise a little extra cash for the holidays. Or, if you’re in a generous mood, you could donate them to charities like Oxfam, the Irish Cancer Society and Focus Ireland. You mightn’t boost your savings, but it’s certainly in the spirit of the season.

Buy online

If you’re not careful, Christmas gift lists can quickly blossom to include distant family members and even work colleagues – cut it down to your immediate family and close friends. Once you’ve narrowed the list you can start the search for the perfect gift. If you spot something in a shop, check it out on eBay or Amazon, as you could make significant savings by buying online (don’t forget to include the cost of shipping in your calculations).

Presents for the kids

If you’ve got young children or nieces and nephews, you might be tempted to spoil them with Christmas gifts. However, if they’re barely out of nappies then chances are they’ll have more fun with the box their present comes in – opt for something to stimulate their minds, like a picture book or simpler toys, rather than forking out on the latest (and expensive) toys.

Turkey or chicken?

Turkey is the traditional fare on Christmas morning, but it’s not everybody’s favourite. There’s nothing wrong with a nice serving of chicken on December 25th, and it’s both cheaper and easier to cook.

When not writing about all things personal finance, You & Your Money's editor Conor Forrest enjoys reading, football and getting lost in an ocean of Wikipedia articles.