Mutterings of a Fool

Man, Dad, Runner, Chief dog walker

A breakeven Christmas?

Yes I said the C word but it’s November so I think that’s ok right? Now I’m sure we aren’t the only people who get to a couple of months before Christmas and realise that despite best intentions we haven’t been saving money or spreading the present buying. Meaning we do actually need to buy everything that Christmas entails in using the next 2 pay packets. Sure we could use credit but we’re sticking to our new years resolution of no debt and are determined to keep it that way.

Combined with the fact that the lady of the manor’s maternity pay is about to finish (perfect timing) it was time to think of a more imaginative way to fund Christmas.

So the lady of the manor and I have set ourselves a challenge; we want to have a breakeven Christmas. That is we need to sell stuff we own today in order to pay for new presents and food. Given that we are about to sell the house it actually works well and is an ideal way to get rid of all the clutter and things we don’t use.

Plus we really aren’t that extravagant at Christmas, we don’t go crazy buying presents and do secret santa with my big set of siblings. We buy a few things for Matilda and Henry plus a couple of small things for ourselves.

Last weekend we spent a few hours tidying the house and gathering a pile of things to put on ebay, it was free listing weekend so saved us some money even if it did take a few hours. We’ve already sold our first item, my old smartphone, on a buy it now price. £50 is a pretty good start to the fund and hopefully the start of lots more to come.

Can it be done? Can we really sell enough stuff to pay for Christmas? It’s a good challenge and might help focus our minds when it comes to spending too, watch this space for the results!

What about you? Do you save all year to buy presents or hit the final few months and panic like us?


  1. For several years now my best friend gas done Park Hamper Vouchers. I save £40 a month and this week I get £400 in vouchers split between amazon and John Lewis. Paul and I have also been ‘ebaying’. I’m getting rid of all the old baby stuff and he’s slowly making a dent in his stacks of old football program’s. he has thousands of them and its amazing what people will buy/collect. Between us we’ve made almost £600 so with the vouchers we’ve got a healthy budget that prevents the worry. With 4 children (2 of them teenage girls) Christmas definitely doesn’t come cheap! Good luck with your de-cluttering and raising funds 🙂

    • monthly saving is definitely a good idea, might have to make that a new years resolution. Don’t want to spend a fortune at christmas but you never have enough in your monthly pay packet to pay for it

  2. Interesting idea. very sensible too. I for one am not a fan of the idea that you simply must buy gifts for everyone and they must be amazing, or you’re a shit friend/family member/neighbour. We buy for close family and that’s it really.

    Like you we try and spread it a few months before hand but it never works that way.

    So after reading your post I’m off upstairs to see if there’s anything I can sell 🙂

    • yeah we’ve quickly got away from buying for everyone given that I’m 1 of 5 children all now with partners and some kids. Still quickly adds up doesn’t it?

  3. That’s a great idea. Up here we’ve got a collection of kids’ parties starting around the middle of December – all come with a lovely note including “please provide a present for your child, something around the £10 mark”. 3 parties x 5 kids = ouch! You can’t not go, that’s too Bah! Humbug! and doesn’t exactly support the community.

    So I’ve been scouring the shelves of our Tesco each time I’ve been in, looking for the clearance stuff. 3 big action figures at £1.99 each reduced from £15? Sorted. Lego Heroica game cut down from £10 to £2.50 to get it off the shelf? Perfect.

    On top of that, we only do token presents at Christmas. Save the big stuff for birthdays.

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