Ireland’s Guide To Money And Living

Budget tips for Christmas gifts

Christmas budget

Have you ever handed someone a really expensive Christmas present to only hear “You got me…oh.” And with that ‘oh’ you realise that that expensive camel-scented perfume, which you painstakingly picked out at great expense, has turned into a non-refundable nightmare! We mightn’t be able to save you from the embarrassment and/or annoyance of a clearly unwanted Christmas gift, but we can at least save your wallet from some undue harm as we approach the big day.

1 – Gifts don’t have to be expensive. We won’t speak for everybody, but many people like a little thought put into their Christmas present. Why not frame your significant other’s favourite Instagram photo and wrap it up (presuming copyright restrictions etc allow for this)?

2 – Make use of social media. Follow brands and retailers on Twitter and Facebook, as they will post discount codes and special offers online, some exclusively for their followers.

3 – If you’ve got very little kids you might feel like spoiling them with treats, particularly in the first year or two, but chances are they’ll end up playing with the cardboard box, and likely won’t remember them in later life either. Buy smaller, simpler toys and books and aim to foster their creativity rather than to simply keep them amused, and you might wind up with a slightly less cluttered house in the process.

4 – Don’t be greedy. Sure, that underwater drinks dispenser might be the perfect gift for yourself, but Christmas is supposed to be about giving to others (technically it’s about commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, but that’s been swept under the rug a little). Instead, remember that the price of lots of gifts and gadgets will come down in the January sales. And you might have moved onto something else by then.

5 – If you’ve found yourself struggling to get the funds together for a Christmas to remember, aim to begin in January when the festive merriment is finished for another year. With almost 12 months to save, you can set aside smaller amounts each month, and stick to your budget with precision the next time around.

6 – Finally, don’t forget that the year (and life) doesn’t end with Christmas! Make sure that festive budget of yours doesn’t just take gifts and festive goodies into account, but far more important items like rent and fuel!

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.