That time of year is upon us once again, Christmas. The bane of all budgeteers. But I have come up with the “Scrooge McDuck” method to save me from the horrors of budget blowout this Christmas season.
For those of you who aren’t cool like me, “Scrooge McDuck” although in a few other Disney flicks, really only came to my attention in the television show “Ducktales” (oh-woo-woo!) that was popular back in the early 90’s. He was the richest duck in the world, and was as good at saving money (i.e. being a cheap skate) as he was in making it. But he had a good heart, and had a soft spot for his grand-nephews.
So here are the rules for the Scrooge McDuck method of trying to curb your Christmas spending.
1. Only buy presents for the kids.
Lets face it, Christmas is FOR children. Well the gift bit of it anyways. When was the last time you were so excited to open your Christmas presents that you thought you would, pee your pants, throw up, pass out and dance a merry jig all at the same time? For me it was about the time I started getting *shudder* clothes instead of toys for presents. And yes, NOW I know it’s the thought that counts, but when you’re between 5-12 years old all you really care about is that you get your *insert toy of the year here* with dual action *insert prominent feature of toy here*.
Note: This only works if you are single! Brothers, sisters, parents, cousins will all understand that you’re trying to eliminate debt so the lack of presents from you to them will be forgiven. And maybe your partner will also forgive you for not getting them a present, but for the sake of relationship harmony, just get them something anyway. Seriously, do it. No matter what they say. you don’t even have to give it them in front of everyone else. Give it to them the day before or day after. Just get them something. Trust me on that. That’s doubly true if you’re a guy.
2. Know the kids you are buying presents for.
Sure you could always buy every single one of them a Playstation 3 and that would make you Uncle (or Aunt) of the year, but that would defeat the purpose of saving money. For example one niece is into the whole “princess” thing. But she is now 7. So along with birthdays and Christmas, over the past few years she has accumulated EVERY single piece of princess themed toys that has ever been created. EVER. I’m not even kidding. The girl has every Barbie that has come out since she was born. So what do I get her? Yet another Barbie (or Barbie wannabe) doll to be lost amongst all the others? No. I’ve gotten her a little tiara. And none of that plastic stuff either. It’s some sort of metal, and heavy like an actual crown should be. Cost? $20 bucks from a little store near where I live. So know your audience, if you know what they like, you can escape the expensive generic (but you know will be absolutely loved) gaming console.
3. Babies don’t care what you get them, as long as they can put it in their mouth at some point, or throw it at their fathers crotch.
Seriously they don’t. So put that silver rattle from Tiffany’s down. They don’t give a toss, and will most likely never be allowed to play with it anyways. Remember you’re buying presents for the kids, not an heirloom for the parents to hand down. You can get them brightly coloured socks (clean socks of course!) tied to a ball if you’re really skint. But all they want is that they can grab it in their tiny little hands, has some sort of texture, kinda soft, makes noise, and if possible used as a projectile to the head of one of their numerous contemporaries.
So there you go, 3 simple rules and your budget may survive Christmas after all.