Christmas is meant to be the most wonderful time of the year! But it can also be a stressful one when you tot up the cost of presents, cards, decorations and food and drink. If you don’t want to be wiped out in January, follow our tips for savvy saving and managing your money sensibly!
Don’t work out how much Christmas will cost. Decide what you can afford
and tailor spending accordingly. Planning saves money. Remember that popping into shops and buying one item here and there means missing out on ‘3 for 2’ offers.
It’s not just somewhere to flog your secondhand stuff. Over half the items on eBay are brand new. Remember to factor in any postage charges.
Re-think Christmas cards
Send Christmas cards early by second class to save on stamps. Better still, create your own email cards – a big overseas postage costcutter if you have friends and family living abroad.
Remember that popping into shops and buying one item here and there means missing out on ‘3 for 2’ offers.
Invest in store cards
Most major stores now offer store cards and they can offer
substantial savings. Trade in Tesco Clubcard points for artificial trees
and trimmings as you’ll often get twice their value on selected
Check delivery charges
Shopping online is quick and easy, but delivery charges can eat into
the savings you make. Check for free delivery deals and even if you opt
for Click & Collect check that too, as some retailers add a charge.
Stock your freezer
Buffet style-nibbles from major supermarkets often come with a 3 for
2, or similar deal. Great value, and it also saves an expensive
impromptu dash to the corner shop if unexpected guests arrive.
Make your own tags
Why not personalise them by adding fun pictures of the gift
recipients! Make them a fun shape and maybe add some glitter. This will
keep the kids busy too!
Buy small and light
When buying gifts to post, make sure they are light and small. This
is especially important if you’re sending items abroad. Find out more
about sending Christmas deliveries at www.royalmail.com.
Use credit cards to your advantage
Always be wary about piling Christmas expenditure on plastic! But if
you know you can clear the bill in January, get a cashback credit card.
Just make sure you can pay it off promptly or the interest will wipe out
Have a Secret Santa
Save on gifts by suggesting a Secret Santa for workplace friends.
With a large extended family, why not agree to buy just for the
children? It may be a tricky conversation to start, but you’ll probably
find everyone was thinking the same thing.
If you see something you would like to buy in a store, check first to see if you can get it cheaper online.
Keep a tally
Make a gift list and jot down what you’ve bought, who it’s for, what
it cost and where you’ve hidden it! Then you’ll have a running tally of
what you’ve spent to help you budget.
Go to Poundland
This can be great for stocking fillers as you’ll find all sorts of fun quirky gifts plus great value wrapping and sweets too.
If you see something you would like to buy in a store, check first to
see if you can get it cheaper online. Many retailers offer a 10 or 15
per cent reduction for online buying – but keep an eye on those pesky
Avoid last minute buys
Buy batteries, sticky tape, headache tablets and foil in bulk. All
those extras that you can easily run out of may turn out to be very
expensive at the cornershop.