12 steps to saving money for Christmas

Faye

Money Saving Tips

Christmas is fast approaching! Are you ready for it? Have you started to buy your presents and get the Christmas cupboard filled with delicious treats? Or is the thought of the expense causing more stress than excitement? If you’re struggling with the cost of the ‘happiest time of the year’, take a look at our top tips.

How much money should you save for Christmas?

Trying to work out how much money you should save for Christmas can be difficult. Many factors will determine how much you will need. The biggest one being the size of your family. For example, the more little ones there are, the more gifts you may have to get. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to create a budgeting plan.

1. Set your Christmas budget early and stick to it

Create a budget early on. You can do this by working out how many presents you’ll need to buy, how much you usually spend on each family member, how much the food bill will be, and how many safe, social distancing events you’ll want to attend. Taking everything into consideration means you can create a realistic budget; the hardest part is then sticking to it.

2. Start saving as early as possible

The earlier you start saving, the better. Since it’s already November, you may have already started saving. But thinking ahead, there’s no harm in starting to save for next year’s Christmas as soon as this one is over. For example, putting £10 a week into a pot (if possible) from the 1st of November means you will have an extra £80 for when it comes to the big day.

3. Use a stocking for smaller, cheaper presents

If you can’t afford one big present, why not fill a stocking with a few little cheaper gifts. A stocking filled with treats will make a lovely present without the hefty price tag.. Plus, you could open this up to your extended family, which means you don’t have to spend as much on larger gifts.

4. Shop the sales early

Making the most of a sale is a great opportunity to grab yourself a bargain. Have in mind what gifts you want to get and keep an eye out for sales and discount codes to purchase those gifts at an even better price. One to get in the diary for is Black Friday! This year it is on 27th November, but many stores have a weeklong sale and release different offers each day.

5. Use your supermarket loyalty cards for shopping

Make the most of your supermarket loyalty cards. Even if you can’t find any gifts in your local shop, saving up the points can get you great discounts on your Christmas food and drink – which can be just as expensive as the presents! It’s been estimated that you can make savings of up to £400 each year with supermarket loyalty cards, so any little saving helps!

6. Get cash back on presents

You can also make the most of websites like TopCashback. Shop as normal via a link on the cashback website and receive money back to go towards your next gift. Perfect! In some cases, TopCashback promises to save up to £300, which can really help if you have a larger family to buy gifts for.

7. Make a list of food items in advance

Just like budgeting for your regular weekly shop, you should write a shopping list of all the food and drink you will need for the big day and the build up to it. If you stick to the list, then you can avoid any unnecessary spending. Also, make the most of freeing up space in your freezer, that way you can pop stuff in there so you don’t need to regularly top up the food for Christmas.

8. Make your gifts

Sometimes, there can be too much pressure to buy gifts and, unfortunately, many people are struggling financially this year. We recently discovered that 46% of Brits have had to dip into their savings due to the pandemic.

But if the cost is getting too much, why not make a gift. A box full of homemade truffles or cupcakes should go down a treat and show your family or friends the care that has gone into their gifts. If baking isn’t your thing, why not get crafty and make your own candles or other decorations.

9. Create your own decorations with the children

If you need some new decorations but you’re not sure if you can afford them, why not make them with the kids? Not only will this be a fun family time, but the decorations will also be more meaningful and so much cheaper.

10. Have a pre-Christmas clear-out

Have you got a draw full of gifts that haven’t been seen since last Christmas? Why not see if you can sell them to get yourself some extra cash? There’s no need to feel guilty about it, everyone gets at least one gift that isn’t quite suitable for them. Similarly, we found that from clearing out your loft, you could make up to £1,850 with these items gathering dust.

11. Say no to gifts

Another option, which may not appeal to all, is to say no to gifts. We don’t mean don’t buy for your children or parents, but can you cut out anyone that isn’t your immediate family? For example, do you need to buy your hairdresser a bottle of wine or your neighbour a box of chocolates? Cutting out these extra gifts can make big savings.

12. Try not to borrow

It’s important to only spend what you can afford. Throwing a load of cash at Christmas won’t make it any more special, so try to avoid borrowing money to pay for it. You’ll only make January a stressful time as you try to pay it back. If you’re struggling with debt right now, take a look at our blog on managing debit during COVID-19.

For other ways to improve your budget, we have a few extra tips that will help you save hundreds while at home.

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