Lifestyle

We're dreaming of a cheap Christmas!

Christmas doesn’t have to wipe you out if you follow our clever tips for savvy saving and managing your money sensibly. We have a sensible saving idea for each of the 12 days of Christmas.

Published

TOP TIPS

1. Shop on eBay. It’s not just somewhere to flog your secondhand stuff. Over half the items on eBay are brand new. Just remember to factor in any postage charges.

2. Send Christmas cards early to save on first class stamps. Better still, create your own personalised card to email –this is a particularly big saving if you have friends and family living abroad.

3. Make the most of any ‘3 for 2’ deals and use offers such as Tesco Clubcard points whenever there’s an opportunity. And stock up with ‘3 for 2’ offers. Boots and M&S often do these in the run up to Christmas and most places do ‘3 for 2’ on cards and wrapping.

Make a gift list and jot down what you’ve bought, who it’s for and where you’ve hidden it!

4. Buying online, check for free delivery deals or order on a ‘Click & Collect’ basis.

5. Stock your freezer with buffet style-nibbles from Iceland or Tesco. It may save an impromptu and expensive dash to the corner shop if unexpected guests arrive.

6. Make your own tags. Personalise them by adding fun pictures of the gift recipients! Make them an interesting shape and maybe add some glitter. This will keep the kids busy too!

7. Be wary about piling Christmas expenditure on plastic! If you know you can clear the bill in January, or you have an interest-free credit card, that helps. Just make sure you can pay it off before interest starts piling up.

8. If you have 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!

9. Make a gift list and jot down what you’ve bought, who it’s for and where you’ve hidden it! Not only will you avoid forking out twice; you’ll also have a running tally of what you’ve spent to help you budget.

10. Poundland can be great for stocking fillers as you’ll find all sorts of fun quirky gifts plus great value wrapping too.

11. When buying online, load up your basket but don’t check out straight away. If you can wait 48 hours, you may get a discount as some online stores will spot you haven’t checked out and mail you an incentivising voucher code which can be up to 20 per cent.

12. 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.

Managing your money tips

  • Don’t work out how much Christmas will cost. Decide what you can afford and tailor your spending accordingly.
  • Don’t leave your shopping till the last minute. Yes, there may be sales on but it won’t be on everything and if you can’t find what you want, it’s easy to spend more in a buying panic!
  • Set a budget for each person, add in the cost of food and decorations and divide the lot by 12. Then put the amount aside in a separate savings account each month.

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