Monday, 28 January 2008


After a reluctant trawl around my local shopping centre yesterday (I badly need some comfortable shoes - didn't find any) I realised that, although we are at the very end of January, there are still plenty of Christmas gifty things in the shops - all reduced (although not as reduced as they should be in my opinion) and waiting for a good home. I have a theory that as it is soon going to be Valentine's day, the shops will want to clear out all their Christmas bits - so get down there quick and bag a bargain!

Sunday, 27 January 2008


Yes, there are now 333 days to Christmas 2008. So if you save just £1 a day towards paying for it - by around the middle of November, you'll have £300 pounds!!!!!!!!!!! Go on - you know you can do it.

Sunday, 20 January 2008


This is a fool proof way to be wealthier in 2011, be able to afford Christmas 2009 without debt in January 2010 if you smoke, give up!

Yes, I know you’ve heard it all before and perhaps your New Year’s resolutions have already faltered, but just listen to the money facts (and I’m not even going to get started on the dangers of smoking).

If you smoke 10 cigarettes a day and give up now, by Christmas you could have nearly £1000* in the bank! (And there are other issues to take into consideration – your life insurance premiums should be cheaper as a non-smoker, too).

Just think what you could do with all that money!

If you need help to stop smoking have a look at Quit (a UK charity that helps smokers give up) or the NHS Smokefree website with local info to help you give up.

*based on an average price of £5.23 per pack of 20 cigarettes.

Friday, 18 January 2008


A tour of my local charity shops today has reminded me what a good time it is to buy gifts for next Christmas (or birthdays) . Gift recycling is very frugal, very "green" and good for the purse! This time of year everyone has put away their Christmas decorations and had a tidy up - and that probably means getting rid of those unwanted gifts - just go and see for yourself. Make a list of all those people you have to buy for now - keep it with you and enter the details of every gift you buy, so that you don't forget what you've got by the time Christmas comes!

Sunday, 6 January 2008


However much you want to spend on food, drink and presents at Christmas nothing, nothing, nothing about Christmas is worth getting into debt for. Spending does not equal happiness (especially when the bills arrive in January). After all, it really is the thought that counts – and the thought that counts with me is that the credit card companies and banks won’t be making a single penny out of me at Christmas (or any other time of the year!).

Debt advice specialists are advising this simple way of affording Christmas:

  • Work out all your monthly outgoings (mortgage/rent, bills, food, petrol, fares, etc.
  • Work out what you have left per month (this is your “disposable income”).
  • Double your monthly disposable income - and that is the total amount you can spend on next Christmas. So if you have £100 disposable income left every month – you only have £200 IN TOTAL to spend on next Christmas!
  • For 2 months put that sum away in a savings account. Only use this money for Christmas!
  • Make a list of everyone you have to buy for in a small notebook you keep with you. Start looking out for presents now in the sales (if you really have to go) and in charity shops. Note down the price of anything you buy and keep a running total – this way you will be sure not to exceed your budget for Christmas.

If this sounds harsh, then the alternative is even harsher – getting deeper into debt every year – and, worse having absolutely nothing to show for it!

So give it a try – especially if you are one of the millions who are still paying for last Christmas!

Tuesday, 1 January 2008


Okay, the turkey's all gone, you may be nursing a New Year hangover, but start to think about how much better your finances are going to be in 2010! Here are 4 tips to start saving money now!
  • as you take down your decorations on 12th night, check for any damage or breakages. Don't put them away to deal with next year, if they cannot be used at all (i.e. broken up for small decorative arrangements) then throw them away, and start a shopping list! Go out (if you can possibly afford it) and replace the decorations with sale-price items from the shops now. By December you will be glad you did!
  • As you take your cards down to send to the recycling point, look through them and cut out labels for next year's presents. Store them with any Christmas bows you saved from your presents and any left over wrapping paper.
  • Check how many Christmas cards you have left - do a quick recount on how many you sent this year and work out how many you will need for next year. Go out now to the big stores and buy next year's cards - remember, you're looking for good quality cards priced at least 50% off!
  • Check how much wrapping paper and gift bags you have left - if you have enough for next year, okay, but if you know you will need more - buy it now while it's reduced!
Do all this now and save money on next Christmas.