It can be easy to get caught up in the Christmas cheer and start spending without planning properly. This leaves us feeling less than festive in the New Year when we have to re-assess our budgets. It can be difficult to avoid using credit to pay for all the luxuries you desire but saving and cutting down costs in the run up will help to soften the blow for January.
Make The Most of Discounts and Vouchers
While most of us are aware of the big January sales, it’s also possible to get some great deals before Christmas. Many retailers offer fantastic discounts and vouchers to encourage you to shop there while saving you some pennies. It’s also a great time to cash in on deals from loyalty cards. If you have a Tesco Clubcard or a Boots card, you should keep an eye on the post for coupons and vouchers to help you to cover the costs of food and gifts.
There are also a whole host of sites which can highlight great offers available. Try looking at Groupon for some offers on meals, gifts and events which would make perfect gifts and cost you a fraction of the price!
We all have our little luxuries and brands that we can’t break away from, but Christmas can be an expensive time for food. This is especially relevant if you are helping out with the Christmas dinner or even hosting it for the kids and grandkids. Try switching to budget supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl which have a wide variety of food which often rates as well as more expensive brands in taste tests. You can use these stores to shop for all of your essentials and top up the cupboards with your favourites from your regular supermarket.
Get Shopping Online
With the help of the internet, you can do all of your Christmas shopping from the comfort of your own home if you wish. If you have a specific idea of what you want to buy, you can shop around for the best price with just a few clicks of your mouse! There are also some great sites such as eBay which allow you to buy second hand items for a great price. Likewise, you can sell some items that you don’t want any more on eBay to free up some extra cash. If you are worried about shopping online, read our previous article on how to remain safe and secure when shopping on the web.
Many of us get caught up in the commercial side of Christmas and forget about the importance of thought and care which goes into a present. You may have many talents which you could put to use to make a truly personal and thoughtful gift. Perhaps you’re a fantastic baker and can make ginger bread cookies and gifts for friends and family. Maybe you’re into knitting and can make your grandkids some unique jumpers to keep them warm for the season. While these can save some cash, it may take some time so get started now!
Make a Budget
It’s time to make your list and check it twice! It’s important to set out all of the details and ensure that you stick to it. With all of the beautiful decorations and tempting offers it’s so easy to over spend on things that you don’t need. Make a list of all family and friends who you need to buy presents for and set out an exact amount for each. Also consider any entertaining you may be doing and allow for extra spending on food and drinks. This will help to keep you on track.
Saving for Christmas is not about being a scrooge; it just requires a few simple tricks. Christmas is a time to enjoy yourself but it doesn’t have to break the bank to be enjoyable.