Could you enjoy Christmas for less than £40?
- Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Last week I wrote about the need to start planning ahead to avoid overspending at Christmas and asked readers to send in their thrifty tips for the festive season.
My own ideas for keeping spending under control centred around setting a budget, buying things over a longer period of time to spread the cost and cutting back on ‘luxuries’ to help fund festive spending.
But I clearly wasn’t thinking nearly far enough outside the box.
Reader Bob Willers wrote in to tell me he’s managed to get his Christmas spending down to under £40 - that’s more than £400 less than the UK average - since his children have flown the nest and had families of their own.
He admits his feat has taken years to accomplish and what’s more, he hates the season, another good reason to refuse to spend for the sake of it.
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Bob’s thrifty tips may not be for everyone - and I’m still not entirely sure if some of them aren’t just a little tongue-in-cheek - but if nothing else, they make for entertaining reading...
? Christmas cards: ask people to write cards in pencil so you can erase it, write your message and send the same card back without a stamp. The cards soon stop.
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? Family: let them arrange their own thing and let them know in advance you won’t be at home or available.
? Gifts: tell everyone you are not buying any gifts for people and you expect none yourself.
? Shopping: nothing different, after believing there’s just cheese sandwiches, nobody wants to come round on Christmas Day.
? Drink: one bottle of spirits for Christmas Eve, I sleep most of the day after that.
? Phones: switched off.
? House: doors locked, curtains drawn.
Bob ends by saying: “I receive no callers, cards or gifts. My costs are the same as an average week and I’m happy... after all it’s just another day. Bah Humbug.”
I won’t pretend I’ll be going anywhere nearly as far as Bob to enjoy a less consumer-orientated Christmas but his list certainly provides food for thought about what the season has become and how some people choose to opt out altogether.