How to do Christmas when you’re skint

Holly Smith·1 December 2016·4 min read
How to do Christmas when you’re skint

Christmas ‘tis the season to be jolly, but it’s tricky when you’re already deep into your overdraft.

Here are some tips to help you keep the Christmas spirit on a budget:

Start early

Seek out the offers and items on sale well before Christmas. This will help you avoid rushed impulse buys of trivial and overpriced gimmicks. It’s a good idea to go window shopping and then look up the gifts online to find a better deal. This is especially true for quirky gadgets from shops like Urban Outfitters where you can often find the same item on Amazon or Ebay.

Bake something

 Who doesn’t love baked goods? Impress your friends and family with some Christmas themed cupcakes or even give making mince pies a go! If baking isn’t your forté, homemade jam or chutney are also ways to woo your loved ones. Wrap them in a fancy bow and they’ll look a million dollars…

Organise an event

Memories will always triumph over material goods. Deep right? Organising a fun trip out doesn’t have to break the bank and involve expensive restaurants or luxury shopping trips. Research some hidden local treasures or free art galleries and treat your friend to a cup of coffee and cake.



Gifts involving photographs work every time. From photo albums to photo frames, they’re a real tear-jerker with grandparents.


Christmas is a boozy time of year so what better a gift than a bottle of bubbly? As always, tie a ribbon around it and stick it in a gold bag and you’ll always look like a top friend.

Charity shopping


Charity shops are a bargain galore. They can sell all sorts from chinaware and books to vinyl and jewellery.



Making a mixtape for someone is a classic that is hard to mess up.

Something they’ll look at every day

Buying someone something they’ll use a lot like a phone case, a purse or a mug is tactical.

Fancy chocolate


Chocolate is a winner with any member of the family. You can usually spend under a tenner on fake posh chocolates.

Something linked to new years’ resolution


Given that getting into shape is a common resolution, items like running armbands or headphones could make good gifts. Equally, a nice diary or journal is always appreciated.

A good recipe book

Recipe books aren’t usually something you’d buy for yourself, so they make perfect presents. Lean in 15  and Deliciously Ella are popular ones at the moment.

Something to do at Christmas


Board games and films can avoid those classic Christmas family arguments, although games do get competitive.

Comfort gifts


Christmas may well be a period of festive excitement, but it’s also bloody freezing. Treat your friends to soft socks, scarves, gloves, a dressing gown, blanket, hand warmers, earmuffs…