Christmas is coming…

2014-12-01 15.17.57

I know, I know, it’s September, it’s horrifying that there are already Mince Pies in the supermarket. However, one thing I cannot recommend enough is to start budgeting for Christmas now. Actually I’d recommend budgeting for Christmas all year round to avoid a skint January and February but if you haven’t done so yet, it will still help to start thinking about it now!

Now, lots of people will think I sound like a massive misery now but the reality is that Christmas is just one day of the year. It’s never worth getting into serious debt in order to buy the most expensive presents for everyone in your life.

Christmas comes but once a year but it does come every single year and it is more than possible (and frighteningly easy) to get into serious cumulative debt every year to try and have the “perfect” Christmas.

Call me old fashioned but I think Christmas should be about time spent with loved ones not who spent the most money on whom.

To this end I’ve devised a Christmas budget spreadsheet.

ChristmasBudgetPlanner

You can download it here. There are full instructions on the first sheet and different sheets for different festive expenditure. Use it, see if you can afford your planned Christmas now and adjust if necessary. Be totally honest about how much you’re likely to spend at Christmas parties (i.e. if, like me, you work in Publishing don’t budget £10 for drinks at the Christmas party! You know you’ll be spending potentially three times as much so be honest!)

If after doing this you realise that you can’t afford to buy everyone in your extended family a present, consider DIY gifts that you can make that keep you within an affordable budget. I made Chilli Jam for my extended family a few years ago for less than £3 a jar, which was good since my Mum is the youngest of ten!

I will be posting a DIY gifts series in the run up to Christmas but you can start planning now. The other thing I do all year round is pin gifts to my Pinterest Gift board that I can look at before people’s birthdays and Christmas to plan things I could make for them.

Be creative with your planning this year and avoid the January money blues!

For more great ideas on how to save for Christmas or any other finance advise check out Martin Lewis’ website: www.moneysavingexpert.com

My 5 favourite Autumn Nail Colours for 2015

Top 5 Colours

Summer is over, autumn is on it’s way and that means it’s time to get excited about autumnal nail colours! I’ve enjoyed pastels over the summer but I love that I can go out and indulge in darker, more moody colours now 🙂

My top 5 picks:

Rimmel Velvet Matte in Velvet Touch:

Rimmel Velvet Matte Nail Polish in Velvet Touch

I love how rich this colour looks, I’m really getting into Matte nail colours at the moment

Nails Inc. Tate Nail Polish:

Nails Inc. Tate Nail Polish

Can’t go wrong with a sexy red colour. Best paired with rounded nails to avoid looking like a witch 😉

Nails Inc Savile Row Nail Polish:

Nails Inc Savile Row Nail Polish

This colour looks amazing, I think this might be my Halloween nail varnish

Orly Colour Blast Plum/Gold Color Flip:

Orly Colour Blast Plum/Gold Color Flip

I’m a massive fan of nail varnishes that change depending on how you look at them. I’m definitely getting this for Autumn.

Eve Snow Nail Polish Film Noir:

EveSnowFilmNoir

Not as dark as my other picks but I’m excited about trying this polish as it’s supposed to be really good for your nails! Also I love the name “Film Noir” and love grey/purple colours all year round.

Those are my top 5 colours for this time of year. Let me know your favourites in the comments!