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DECEMBER Newsletter
Welcome to the final 'An Edited Life' newsletter of the year. Because I'm creating a whole host of various 'round-up' style posts for the ol' blog and YouTube, I thought I'd spare you the obvious 'MY FAVOURITE MASCARA OF THE YEAR IS....' suspense here and instead have a chat about budgeting, which is one of the things that I've finally got a hold of in the past 12 months. Only took me 12 years of my adult life, eh? Christmas can be a tricky one with money easily spent faster than it comes in, so here are my tips for having a frugal (but still fun!) holiday season, along with all the usual bumf underneath including m top...
 

Lesson #25

How To Budget For The Holiday Season

Unfortunately the Christmas magic doesn't extend to conjuring up extra dosh in your seasonal budget and there's no real big secret here. Ultimately it's about making smart swaps when it comes to socialising and gift giving and taking a moment now to plan realistically for the month ahead (have a read of this post for my practical advice for keeping on top of your finances). It's BORING, but 10 minutes spent number-crunching now will mean you can dance your heart out to 'All I Want for Christmas Is You' after one too many Baileys and not be worrying about the state of your bank account come January 1st...

Send your cards, like, NOW. Get on the Christmas card train early with the incentive of planning ahead and saving money by using a batch of second-class stamps. It might seem like a piddly change, but first class stamps are pricey; if you’ve got a list as long as your arm to send out... GET ON IT.

Save on alcohol. If you enjoy a holiday tipple I'd recommend buying a case of wine now, or scouring the supermarkets for the best deal on your liquor of choice. If you splash out on a case, you'll liking make a great saving and then have bottles to gift as presents, or take when you go round to your mate's so you never turn up empty handed. AND you're prepared for when the worst case scenario happens and someone hands you over a gift and you weren't expecting one. 

Budget for entertainment. Aside from gift giving, entertainment is where a large chunk of your budget will be eaten up (literally). So sit with your calendar to look at how your socialising is shaping up for the next moth and divvy up a weekly budget for all the fun stuff that's realistic for your to stick to. I find a good way of keeping nights out within budget is to either go out for dinner and then do drinks back at someone's house (because let's face it, you're all stuffed and sleepy anyway), or to meet up later and just go out for drinks instead. 

Make something thoughtful. Homemade baked gifts go down a treat if you’re looking for a way to cut back your present-buying budget, such as a gigantic jar of mincemeat, festive-shaped gingerbreads or a box of homemade chocolate mints. I always make a few extra to have on hand for when unexpected gifts are handed over.

Get on the Secret Santa train. If your family circle is rather large or you’re all just trying to keep your Christmas costs down, implement a Secret Santa system. You all pick a name out of a hat, set a budget and buy a gift for just that one person. There are only five of us in our family, but it helps to take the stress out of shopping and usually ends up making us all cry with laughter as we try and guess who has who.

Budget gift ideas. I've got a rather mega (if I do say so myself) gift guide coming up, but here are some gift ideas of the top of my head that aren't crazy expensive but are super cute. A gift voucher for the local cinema, theatre or a restaurant that your receiver loves are always a good idea (my teacher mates love these - so if you have to buy your child's teacher a gift this is what I'd recommend!). Or why not wrap up a recipe book and a baking implement for keen bakers, or a book or two that you've loved from the past year for your fellow bookworm? 

A Point In The Right Direction

'Doughnut Bread Pudding Recipe' by Amiel Stanek for Bon Appétit I made this for dessert earlier this month and it went down a treat. Ameiel has created an absolute masterpiece. 
'Every Bon Appétit: Gourmet Makes Video: Ranked' by Louis Peitzman for Vulture  I'm still not sick of spending 95% of my spare time watching Bon Appétit videos, and reading articles about watching BA videos. 
'Brussels Sprouts Gratin Recipe' from BBC Good Food Brussels sprouts with a shedload of cheese and cream? Easily the best roast dinner side dish I've made in a *long* while. 
'My Obsession With The Bon Appétit Cinematic Universe' by Bobby Finger for Jezebel  The co-host of my favourite pop culture podcast 'Who Weekly', writing about my favourite online entity. WHAT IS NOT TO LOVE? 

In case you missed it

Five Resolutions I've Cracked The five New Year's resolutions that I've actually managed to conquer this year, and how I did it. 
The Complete Capsule ListEver wanted a master list of what to include in your capsule wardrobe? Here's a print out PDF to help you out.
Coming Off The Pill: One Year On Marking my one year anniversary from coming off the pill; here's how the past 12 months have been.
How To Make a 10x10 The easy steps to making your own 10x10 capsule wardrobe and some examples to give you a helping hand.

Four THINGS I’VE BEEN LOVING THIS MONTH

ARKET Down Puffer Jacket* I picked this up for windy Chicago and I'm SO glad I did.
Topshop Harri Burgundy Boots*A great high-street dupe for my GANNI Callie boots.
H&M Cashmere Lounge Trousers* H&M have such a FAB range of cashmere loungewear.
& Other Stories Wool Jumper* The best dupe for my Demy Lee knit that I've found.
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