Make a list, check it twice: Sinead Ryan on budgeting for Christmas

There are three paychecks to go until December 25th...
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

16.41 5 Sep 2022

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Make a list, check it twice: S...

Make a list, check it twice: Sinead Ryan on budgeting for Christmas

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

16.41 5 Sep 2022

Share this article

Yes we know it's not even Halloween, but this year more than most people are going to feel the pinch at Christmas.

Consumer journalist, and presenter of The Home Show, Sinead Ryan said if people start making plans now the festive season will be easier to manage.

She told Lunchtime Live there are just three paychecks to go until December 25th.


"We are all going to be in straitened times financially this year more than most.

"Starting early is absolutely going to be key: so this is about doing this now, so you don't have to do it then".

She said there are certain things people can do ahead of time.


"If you shop in a grocery store that has loyalty points, start saving them up now.

"Don't cash them in if they come in - shop cleverly: if you're bulk buying, make sure that you're bulk buying where you're going to get maximum loyalty points."

Sinead said the rule of not using vouchers or points until December should be stuck to "unless they're going to expire between now and then".

"You can do some bundling with them: Supervalu, and Tesco in particular, have partner companies.

"So if you've 50 points, you can swap it for something worth 200 points - not necessarily in the store.

"For instance, €5 of points with Tesco gives you €15 off - €4 in points gives you entry into Dublin Zoo for an adult... so just be mindful of that".

Black Friday

Sinead said people should also start thinking about the big sales.

"The whole Black Friday/Cyber Monday thing, that's in November.

"But I would be checking out prices now... and don't guarantee that just because it says there's a Cyber Monday deal that that's actually the case.

"I'd be checking out the price of gadgets now, so that you can compare it properly when the time comes.

"And just be careful, again I'm hearing people - just even last week - somebody who bought outside the EU in the UK: huge taxes and charges and duties".

Lists (check it twice)

Lists, lists and more lists can help you keep tracking of everything.

Sinead said: "I start now, and I already have it in my phone, to make a list of all the gifts that you think you're going to need to buy with an amount beside it.

"You mightn't know exactly what they're going to get, but you know 'That's my budget'.

"Designate a space in a wardrobe - 'that's where the stuff is going' - and buy something every week.

"I've just bought my first gift... if I buy one a week, there's 15 weeks to go".


Sinead said you should also have an idea of the 'extras' you might need.

"The list of food and other items you're going to get - not worrying about the turkey and the ham.

"But this is about listing the kind of extras you're going to need: booze, chocolates or even clingfilm and napkins.

"Making a list of that now, and buying one a week in your grocery shop, is a great way of storing it up and stacking it up and having it ready".

Nights out

A new outfit for the Christmas party?

"There's no need to buy a new outfit for everything you're going to do. There's no need to buy a new outfit at all", Sinead said.

"If you're going to a work do, borrow stuff off friends that aren't going to be there, borrow stuff off family members.

"You can wear it again on Christmas Day if you like.

"It's really now about sustainability and swapping... your work mates they don't know where you got the dress, they don't care - you'll look great".

Main image: A woman in a Santa outfit counting Euro banknotes. Picture by: ilie adrian / Alamy Stock Photo

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