My Christmas on a Budget

Since we are fast approaching Christmas and it is December already, I thought I’d make this post a festive one

I love Christmas! There’s something in the air around this time of the year that gets me all excited. I don’t normally go home for Christmas for a number of reasons, instead I celebrate in the UK.

This year is not going to be different. Oh wait… it is  different! I am on a budget. Does this mean no Christmas celebrations this year? Hell no! This girl is ready to party! On a budget, that is, and I’ve got a plan!

Christmas on a Budget

Throughout the month of December, I will be attending a lot of glamorous networking events with work to celebrate Christmas.  Many hotels and airlines throw amazing parties for people in the industry, and I cannot wait to put my heels on and squeeze into my little black dress. These events are free to attend for those invited – a huge bonus when you are on a budget.
Total spend: £0

I bought my Christmas tree (not a real one) around four years ago and I put it up on the 1st of December without failure. I have also got all my Christmas decorations from previous years. I bought some Christmas lights last years to add to my Christmas decorations collection and I cannot wait to switch them on soon!
Total spend: £0

My Russian family exchanges gifts on New Year’s Eve and not on Christmas Day. I am not going home for either Christmas or New Year’s Eve, but this does not mean I will not be exchanging gifts. These will not be expensive gifts but I’d like to make sure I give my family something for Christmas this year as I skipped last year’s gift exchange. When I was little, New Year’s Eve was a special family time and gifts were a major part of our family celebrations. I’d like to continue this tradition and it helps that I love giving gifts. This actually makes me happier than receiving gifts.
Total spend: £100

I did not go to the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park last year. My friends and I have arranged to go this year. Entry is free and you can spend as much or as little as you like. I would definitely like to get something Christmassy from their Christmas Market and indulge in delicious festive food and mulled wine from the stalls. I also want to go ice skating.
Total spend: £25

This year I am heading to Cambridge for three days to celebrate Christmas with my best friend. I got first class train tickets for a fraction of a price through work. We are not sure yet if we are going to make Christmas dinner ourselves or order it in, but we are definitely having a big Christmas dinner followed by two more days of non-stop eating. This is what my Christmas is all about – eating a lot  and not feeling guilty about it! 😉 I will also get a small Christmas gift for my best friend.
Total spend: £75

Overall, my Christmas is not going to be too expensive. I think that £200 on Christmas including gifts, entertainment and food is a reasonable price to pay. Although I am on a budget, I don’t want to miss out on all the festive fun. You shouldn’t either.

There is no need to spend a fortune on gifts. A small gift is enough and I am sure your family and loved ones will appreciate it.

There is also no need to waste a ton of money on alcohol. A bottle of Champagne is all you need to raise a glass on Christmas Eve. It’s about family and friends enjoying quality time together, not  getting drunk 😉

Do spend some cash on festive food and enjoy it! After all, what are New Year’s resolutions for? 😉

What are your plans for Christmas? Is your Christmas going to be expensive? Are you exchanging gifts with your family and friends?

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26 Comments

  1. Yay Eva is back! 🙂 I LOVE Christmas as well and giving gifts is definitely my favorite part about it. I set myself a budget this year and so far I’ve been sticking to it which feels great. If you can’t be with your family on Christmas, spending time with your best friend is just as great. 🙂
    Girl Meets Debt recently posted…Black Friday Comes North of the BorderMy Profile

  2. Love the photo Eva! I’m spending Christmas with family and we’re having a long break off from work (I hate working at Christmas!). I’m a big kid and have put my tree up, decorations and was toying with the idea of getting an advent calendar just for me. I decided to stick to just one for my little girl though in the end. 🙂 My present budget is £100 and I’m reaching the upper limit (gulp!) even though my gifts are small because of all the kids I’m buying for this year. It’s really hard not to buy for kids and there’s at least 10 to buy for in my social circle!

    I’m sure you’ll have a lovely Christmas in Cambridge with your bestie Eva and the first class train sounds perfect! Cambridge is a beautiful and historic place.
    Hayley @ A Disease Called Debt recently posted…It Is Still Possible to Raise a Child in the UK without Spending a FortuneMy Profile

    1. I was given an advent calender at work, they are so great! 😉 I feel the same way about Christmas. I have put my Christmas tree up too! Wow, buying gifts for 10 children sounds like a challenge, I’m sure you’ll do great and stick to the budget! 😉

      Yes, Cambridge is a great place, I used to live there! 😛
      Eva @ Girl Counting Pennies recently posted…My Christmas on a BudgetMy Profile

  3. That’s a great Christmas budget! Well, I only agree because it looks a lot like ours, except instead of spending money on events, we dropped about $75 on holiday cards. We are going to do one special event this month, but my parents are treating us! Otherwise, we spent just over $200 on Christmas gifts, and $20 for a tree.
    Rebecca @ Stapler Confessions recently posted…December 2013: Financial Update & Black Friday PurchasesMy Profile

  4. This year we decided to put in a bit of money and call it the start up Christmas. We bought a fake tree and a few ornaments and decorations for the house that we can now reuse year after year. We did the same thing for Thanksgiving and we bought some seasonal decorations that we can use all throughout winter. But because we will both be working throughout the holidays, the more we are working, the less time we will have to spend money frivolously.
    Amanda @ Passionately Simple Life recently posted…I’m Supposed To Be SAVING???!!!My Profile

    1. I think it’s a great idea to stock up on festive decorations and keep using them year after year. I can definitely cross this off my list as I’ve got everything I need to decorate my home! I don’t normally take time off work during the holidays so I’m in the same boat. I always have 25 and 26 Dec off and I’d say that’s enough for me 😉 Hope you have a lovely Christmas, Amanda! 😛
      Eva @ Girl Counting Pennies recently posted…My Christmas on a BudgetMy Profile

  5. I don’t do much in the way of gift exchange with my family, but I do send cards and a thoughtful, hand written not and maybe some pictures. I do buy for an adopt-a-family program and I sent my step-nephews gift cards from Amazon so they can buy some stuff for themselves. Hyde Park sounds fun. Also that’s so cool you get to go to all those parties and not have to spend a dime!

    1. I think it’s great that you buy for an adopt-a-family program, and Amazon gift cards are great presents! I imagine Christmas in Los Angeles to be a bit different from our Christmas here. You guys probably decorate palm trees and have Christmas parties on the beach? 😉 Sounds like an awesome Christmas to me!
      Eva @ Girl Counting Pennies recently posted…My Christmas on a BudgetMy Profile

  6. Christmas has always been an expensive time in my household mainly because of our kids. The days out we have to plan (to see Santa and to get them into the right atmosphere for Christmas) as well as the food and presents really tally up a tough couple of months in terms of my budget. We save where we can though, by using the same decorations yearly.

  7. I just discovered your blog, I love it so far, I also like the pic you have at the beginning of this post. I started Christmas shopping early this year, in November. I have 14 people on my list but have a limit for everyone which is why I started shopping early. I am also going to be adding some homemade cookies and chocolates to make my presents more personal and a little bit more. I have been taking part in free events in my city as well although it is so cold where I live ( I live in Canada) and it is hard to go to some of these events as they are outdoors. But I am determined to partake in the festivities. I also got my first tree the year. It is a small one and I got it for 50% off as well as the ornaments which I will use again next year.

  8. Christmas is all about celebrating with the family, and if I were in your shoes, and couldn’t make it, then I would be somewhat disappointed. Nevertheless, because times are tough, I would understand your reasoning.
    Also, I am really glad that you made a list on how much money you spend for the holidays.
    This really inspired me, and I think I would do the same. It really helps me organize my time and money.

    Thanks for the insight,
    David
    David recently posted…Everything To Know About “School Camp”My Profile

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