More thrifty Christmas tips
The last-minute Christmas shopping stampede is here, and retailers hope that youll ignore the price tags and race for the tills. Yet there are sackfuls of ways to smash the cost of Christmas. Here are a few tricks see Christmas MoneySaving for a full guide.
Time to ban Christmas presents?
Nows the moment to consider giving this Christmas. This isnt about gifts from parents or to grandchildren, but the ever-widening glut of friends, extended family and colleagues. Christmas isnt a retail festival. We need to end obliged giving and think more about what's given, to whom, and why.
If youre yelling over your wrapping paper what about the joy of giving?, then rememb er gift-giving creates an obligation on recipients to give something back, whether they can afford it or not. For some, the gift of not obliging you to buy for me is actually better. Read Scrooge McLewis's blog: Ban Xmas gifts
Plus why not make a No Unnecessary Present Pact (NUPP) with friends now or at least agree to a Secret Santa or 5 to 10 cap on gifts. If youre scared to broach this taboo subject, our free Nupp Tool generates the email for you, showing recipients youre not alone.
Its not all about the perfect Christmas
Too many people ask: "What will make it totally perfect?" Then they attack the shops for a festive gift-grab, only questioning their finances later on. Instead, start by asking: "What can I afford to spend on Christmas?" Then work out the best day you can have on that budget.
Free video message from Santa
If your child would love Saint Nick to say hello, visit Portable North Pole to create a personalised video message good for kids big and small, naughty and nice. Just put in a few personal details and Santa will give bespoke words of wisdom.
Downshift your turkey!
Our Festive Fivers contest challenges forumites to come up with the best 'make or buy' sub-5 presents. Among the inspirational ideas was the 12 Dates of Christmas, an inspirational date night package for someone you love (or lust after) - from a picnic in the park to a candlelit bubble bath.
For kids, plant a fallen bell from Santa's sleigh in your garden on Christmas morning to make the kids' eyes as wide as their smiles. See 50 Festive Fivers for a full list of winners and inspiration.
More ways to teach kids about money
Explaining to kids why waiting for Christmas presents saves is great financial education. Here are some more ways to teach kids about money. These tips are just the tip of the iceberg see our Financial Education resources for a full list.
- Teach them a companys job is to make money
Explain that when you go into a supermarket there are always sweets by the tills, just in case kids have forgotten to ask their parents for some already.
In fact, its also worth playing a game with your kids in the supermarket. Challenge them to spot all the different ways the supermarket tries to persuade and get people to spend more money. They should enjoy the challenge, but also itll be educational.
- Free Teen Cash Class booklet
Martin did a one-day MoneySaving crash course for a class of 15-year-olds a few years ago for ITV. They went home and saved their parents 5, 000+ - so we turned it into the Teen Cash Class Parents booklet.
The booklet includes exercises, discussions and resource sheets for lesson plans on credit cards, loyalty, impulse buying and more.
- MoneySaving Tips for Newsrounds nine-year-olds
The BBC's Newsround did a story about money education in schools and asked Martin for MoneySaving Tips for its audience (target age: nine).
- Boost your kids' savings
It's possible for children to earn up to 6% in the top savings accounts - yet many have cash in dismally paying accounts. It doesn't just depriving them of interest, but also the chance to learn the valuable lesson that your money can work for you. See Children's Savings for the top paying accounts.