There are many wonderful perks to ageing. The trick, as Monty Python taught us, is to always look on the bright side of life.
Money saving ideas
1. Print copies of your own family portrait as a gift for family and close friends.
2. Do you have a big extended family? Make a few phone calls to organise a ‘Kris Kringle’ or Xmas Lottery so each person just buys one gift for one family member, with a budget figure nominated and allocations drawn out of a hat.
3. What do you get the person who has everything and a bank balance to match? Try to be up-front, let them know you are on a tight budget this Christmas and would feel embarrassed if they spent over a certain amount. Go for quirky (and cheap) – a personalised T-shirt with a funny caption, for example.
4. If you love to bake, give gingerbread or brownies that you can make yourself to your work colleagues or the kid's teachers instead of buying them a gift. Make them look festive with some cellophane and ribbon and no one will ever know they came from your own kitchen.
5. Rather than spend a fortune on expensive decorations for the house and the Christmas tree, get the kids to make their own. It will get their creative juices flowing.
6. Don't forget about second hand stores and op shops when doing your Christmas shopping. There are some wonderful vintage finds out there if you're willing to put in the effort.
7. If you are hosting, ask guests to bring a plate so the cost of feeding everyone does not fall on you.8. Send e-cards and save money on stationary and postage.