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With Christmas fast approaching, social calendars all over the country are already filling up with parties, work nights out and social gatherings. And that also means dressing to impress for the occasion.

But in these financially straitened times, when splashing out a small fortune on an outfit is out of the question for most of us, how are people covering the cost of their 'going out' attire?

According to research from first direct, 58% of people will hunt for a bargain when shopping for their party outfit. And it seems women are more likely to think thrifty when buying their glad rags, with 60% bargain hunting, compared with 49% of men.

The findings suggested that the most common ways to knock pounds off clothes receipts were:

  • Shopping around more before buying (46%)
  • Using discount codes or vouchers (31%)
  • Using retail reward points (29%).

Two fifths of people said they mix cheaper items of clothing with more expensive ones to keep the cost down whilst still looking stylish. When it comes to where party-goers will look for their outfit, it seems most people will shop online - at least a bit.

77% said they'll buy some of their seasonal items over the internet and 16% said they'll only shop online. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the younger generation is especially likely to stick to the internet: 22% of 25-34 year-olds and 21% of those in the 35-44 age range said they'd only use online sources.

A spokesperson for thinkmoney commented: "Christmas can be one of the most costly times of year, which makes budgeting carefully even more important. Having said that, budgeting for your essential monthly costs is something that needs to be a priority all year round: staying on top of your finances should help you avoid money worries in the future.

"There are various ways you could improve your budgeting. For example, the thinkmoney Current Account comes with a built-in budgeting service. Every month, our Money Managers will split your income into two accounts that are completely separate: one for the bills you've told them about and another for your 'spare' cash. This should put your mind at rest that you're not accidentally spending the money you need for life's essential expenses, such as bills and food - while helping you set aside enough money for the other costs that occur at times like this."

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