Firstly a big Happy New Year to everyone, I hope 2012 will be a prosperous one that brings joy and loads of happiness to everyone.
Normally during these early days in the year I would be counting the cost of my Christmas spend whilst trying to balance off the upcoming bills, however, this year is slightly different. I still have the usual bills (gas, electric need I say more) but due to my handmade Christmas gifts for the family I managed to make a big reduction in my normal Christmas spend on presents.
As a family we were able to jointly save up during the year with a saving tin which came out every fortnight. We contributed £2 each (not every fortnight but most) and on average there was only 5 of us making the regular contributions, but as the year rolled on we had 6 regular family members filling up this tin, plus generous donations at the end of the saving cycle. The tin was bashed open the first Sunday in December during our "Tin opening" celebrations to reveal that we had over £270 saved plus a further £50 in cash donations giving us £320 to cover the festive food and snacks for Christmas and the New Year. To help spread the cost for the drinks we have always agreed that everyone would bring a bottle of cans of beer. this has always worked fine with no problems. We had 18 adults and 4 children around on Christmas day dinner. For Boxing day we had around 22 adults and 6 children for dinner or snacks and then for New Year Eve we had 10 for dinner.
The reason for writing this post is to show that even in this current financial climate if your family can come together from early in the year and start saving - just a little bit each week you could feed an army as large as mine. by making most of your gifts you can please them and then you can still pay your winter bills.
Happy saving for 2012