We've woken up this morning with snow covering parts of the UK, so I don't think we can deny it any longer - Christmas is on its way! I don't know about you but it's this time of year that I start to panic about how I am going to possibly afford the festive season. Before now it's seemed so far away, now I have one pay day left before the big day and not a single present bought. However, that I can cope with - my big question is - what am I going to wear?
Over recent years the choices for plus size party dresses has increased massively which hasn't helped my bank balance at all if I am honest. Don't get me wrong I am so excited that there are many more options out there for us, but I wish I didn't have a need for every single one.
I actually only moved house a month ago, so money this year is even tighter than ever! I know that I am not the only person in this position, so I thought I'd write some tips for financially affording the festive season - I know I'll be referring back to them at the very least! Whether it's saving money online, being super organised or simply telling people you can't afford to buy for them, there are ways that you can enjoy Christmas without feeling the financial burden of the big day.
There's a lot of pressure on us at this time of year - we're expected to splash out on presents, attend Christmas dinners and show our faces at festive parties. Whilst all of these are lovely, they're also expensive. Rather than letting this pressure overwhelm you have a chat with people now. Tell them what you will and won't be doing for Christmas and that they don't need to spend money on you - the chances are they'll be just as relieved hearing it as you are saying it. Write a list of events and people to buy for and narrow it down to necessities. It might seem a bit mercenary but if you have a few events and special presents to buy you'll be able to afford Christmas with far less stress.
Homemade presents can be a really lovely touch and a great way to ensure everyone gets a gift without you having to spend a fortune. Have a look on places such as pinterest and even Facebook for inspiration and tutorials on what to buy.
What you can also do is suggest a secret Santa between you and your friends. That way everyone gets a gift but no one has to spend a fortune trying to buy for everyone. It can be really fun getting together for a couple of cheap drinks and swapping presents. Everyone has something fun to open and no one has had to worry about how they're going to afford to buy gifts for the whole friendship group.
If you're planning to attend some Christmas parties this year, there is nothing wrong with treating yourself. Find one dress that you really like and wear the hell out of it. I know lots of us are afraid of wearing the same thing twice but the chances are all of your events will be with different social groups so even if you do feel bad about it, you'll be able to get away with it. You can even dress it up with different accessories, shoes and handbags if you're feeling really guilty!
If like me you're plus size then the chances are you're expected to pay a little more for clothing and that can make justifying spending money on dresses at this time of year even more tough. However if it makes you feel any better I just splashed out on this beauty - and I don't regret it one bit.
It might be a little late to be super organised for Christmas this year but you can certainly put steps in place for Christmas 2017. Don't leave Christmas shopping to the last minute if you can help it at all - instead look for bargains throughout the year and if you see something that would make a gift, grab it. Buying things little and often will have much less of a dent on your bank balance, which means far less stress and worry.
Without a doubt the most important thing is that you enjoy it. Whatever your Christmas compromises of, make the most of it. It isn't about what money you spend or what presents you have to open - it's about relaxing, enjoying yourself and spending time with the people who are important to you. Get the family over, get everyone to bring over something to eat and drink and then simply sit back and spend the day surrounding by love and fuzzy feelings - that's what I'll be doing!