Only 11 Thursdays Till Christmas

Oh goodie!  I found the box of Christmas stuff.

Many of us frugalistas will have Xmas sorted already. However this post is specifically for those of us who do is still not too late to have a great debt-free, credit-card-free Christmas.

Here's how:


If you get paid weekly then you have 11 pays till Christmas
If you get paid fortnight (and depending which fortnight) you have either 5 or 6 pays till Christmas
If you get paid monthly then you  have 2 pays till Christmas
If you get paid irregularly or on commission then you will know what is in the pipe line.


So, despite what pay cycle we are on there are only two questions we need to ask and answer to have a great Christmas in 2016

Question 1:  How much do you want to spend on food per head?

Question 2:  How much do you want to spend on gifts per head?

I feel an attack of tinsilitis coming on.


  1. Add both amounts from Question 1 and Question 2 together
  2. Multiple that figure from step 1 by the head-count that you used in the two vital questions
  3. Now divide that figure by 11
  4. That answer will give you the money amount you need to put away every week (including this week) to achieve a financial-stress-free Christmas.
  5.  Reflect on the achievability of this dollar figure and adjust if needed before committing.
  6.  Put that amount away in CASH weekly starting this week into a secure jar or envelope.


  •   Rustle up last year's decorations
  •   Find last year's lights 
  •   Use last year's tree (as long as it was not a real one - hee hee! )
  •   Make decorations out of what you already have around - think material off-cuts, coloured paper, paper mache tree decorations, origami, left over paint, wood, cardboard.
  •   Use last year's Xmas card fronts as decorative cameos and icons
  •   Use the leftover rolls of paper from last year (or use newspaper and natural twine)
  •   Pass down something of meaning that you own as a Christmas gift  to the next generation instead of buying something new. (e.g. A family book/bible, a good dinner set that never gets used, a heirloom doll that just sits put away, Grandma's old sewing machine, grandpa's felt trilby, framed photos of ancestors, last year's vegetable or flower seeds that you have kept, Grandpa's old Vauxhall, Granny's linen tablecloth, that baby cardigan or shawl that you kept get the drift.)

Last years Christmas decco's - there are a few more boxes

If we thought we had left Christmas too late and were thinking of reaching for the credit card - then just DON'T.  

We can do the above without credit cards.  Are we going to achieve this?  Are you with me on this?

Take care folks and stay nice.



  1. Thanks for the reminder! Although all the Christmas decorations, etc at the supermarket remind me too!
    I have on my to do list this week to pull out all the Christmas decorations, cards, wrapping paper and stuff that I bought in the sales this January and consolidate it all.
    Planning is key to saving money. Otherwise we'll just do as you say and pull out the credit card.

    1. Yes! The Xmas stuff was in he supermarket late Sept here - ugh.

  2. If you are a gardener then planting a few seeds or some cuttings now, will give you an easy gift for giving at Christmas. A pot of rosemary, parsley, chilli, lemon balm. All of these are easily grown. With a bit of ribbon around the pot and a how to look after gift tag, would make this a lovely gift. It also costs little beyond time and the small amount of water needed to get it going.
    I've also thought of putting together a little pot of gardening things. I saw a small enamel bucket, not much bigger than a coffee mug, with a dibbler, trowel, gloves and a packet of seed, being sold for $60 in a fashion shop. It had twine wrapped around it, holding a brown label. Amazingly simple easy gift to put together.
    Just a couple of cheap and easy ideas that will provide you with a great gift to give.

  3. It's the scary time of the year, loads go into a frenzy whirl as the big day gets closer. I am making loads this year, but I do like the idea of passing on items. Going to put my thinking head on.

  4. Well it has certainly come around quickly this year. Some very good tips in this post Mr HM.

  5. Our Christmas time has changed considerably in the last 2 years since our son's died and while it was always about the family being together I used to be "crazy" at buying LOTS of gifts for everyone and trying to meet THEIR expectations. This year will be the most frugal Christmas yet as we decided for the family in Australia that instead of paying out for gifts and then postage on top of it from NZ, our son/wife would buy gifts from us for their children and we would buy gifts for ourselves from them. We have 2 granddaughters who get $25 each in cash as they expect us to buy them top of the range items like the other grandparents who spend nearly $1000 on the 2 ( ages 12 and 11) of them each Christmas, and we aren't. We decided that after we had brought them an expensive dolls house that was to be kept for their own children, and they put it in a garage sale for $30!!!! so we went and brought it back off them to keep at our home for grandchildren who come here and are raised in a different way. Oldest granddaughter ( 19) gets a $50 voucher and then there is only the 2 toddler grandchildren to buy for and our daughter/son in law. I used to spend well over $1000 each year and now I have it down to about $200 and no Credit Card purchases. I feel better for it I can tell you :-)

    1. Hmmm, I guess going way back Christmas was not even about gifts at all. It is great to see you actively shifting the paradigm.
      Growing up my parents did not celebrate Christmas at all - go figure !

  6. Great tips for those who have left Christmas planning until now. There's still plenty of time to get ready using your method above.
    For me, I have a Christmas Club account which I have been socking away money into all year. I have to wait until November to access it, so there's been no dipping into the Christmas fund! I will be keeping gifts simple this year - a soccer ball, a basketball, quoits - I like outdoorsy gifts as the kids just get given so much stuff for birthdays and from relatives, much of which is either broken, lost or donated by February :)

    1. Yet another great approach - you sound all sorted jay.


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