Having been forced to live frugally for the past few years, since the arrival of my first daughter, I would like to think I have become a bit of an expert at it. However, my skills are always tested around Christmas time, when it becomes very easy to start living beyond your means, purchasing expensive and unnecessary presents for friends and family that stretch your budget, making things even more difficult for the new year ahead.
I have learnt that the secret is to shop smarter, and remember a few key facts:
Home-made presents are worth more than gold – People love to give and receive presents, yet we stress about giving people the ‘perfect present’, basing our decision on the size of the price tag, rather than the emotional value of the gift. Some fantastic, personal (and frugal) gift ideas include: A framed painting created by one of your children to give to proud grandparents, which will be literally priceless to them. A home-made Christmas cake, presented beautifully in it’s own box with a special Christmas message on the top. A favourite vintage childhood book or annual sourced from a thrift store. (more...)