Christmas on a budget

Christmas is probably one of the toughest times of the year when you’re a mum and it’s so easy to lose control where money is concerned. That can affect you for the rest of the year. Find a nice present for you child, yet saving money can be tough. Here are my top tips for present buying:
Lily age 11months: Loved things that made a noise.
1- Set a limit
Set a maximum spend for each person. I usually write a list of who I want to buy a present for, then work out how much I can spare from my money for presents, the divided it by the number of people. Stick to this limit. Always remember the phrase ‘it is the thought that counts’. I know my parents are happy just to get a present from me.
2- Consider your child’s age
Last year for Lily’s first christmas, she was only 3 months old. she wasn’t aware of what was going on so buying these huge toys that lit up and made noises, to me, seemed a bit pointless. I’d rather save that for when she realises a bit more and I can enjoy the reaction she has to it. So me and her dad bought her a keepsake type present, a story book. This book was a special edition and it was a story I loved when I was younger and thought it would be nice to read it to her one day. Most toys will come with an age range printed on them, so if keepsakes aren’t quite your thing, try finding a toy they may grow into soon, but can still enjoy now.
3- Don’t be afraid of discount stores
Poundland, Home Bargains, B&M, the list goes on. These are stores which sell great quality children’s items, but at a much lower price compared to stores like Mothercare and Early Learning Centre. I highly recommend Home Bargains. They have a lot of familiar brands, with retail price discounts of up to 50%…perfect at christmas time. Pound land is a brilliant place for stocking fillers (yes…you are Santa now…enjoy!)
4- Look at what your child needs
Family and friends will ask you what your little one may want for christmas. I know some members of my family would rather buy something that Lily needs, rather than a toy the she will be bored with in a few weeks. If this sounds like the right thing for you, make a list of what you child needs around 6-4 weeks before christmas and show it to your family and friends.
Don’t get carried away with christmas. It’s very tempting just spend, spend, spend when you have children, but you have to take into account that they’re going to need things later on in the year, so keep some money away for a rainy day or emergency.
Until next time…

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