Home Savings Looking Forward To Christmas But Not The Expenses? Here Are Some Tips On Saving Money During The Festivities

Looking Forward To Christmas But Not The Expenses? Here Are Some Tips On Saving Money During The Festivities

by Finance Spot

It is traditional to treat your family more at Christmas than during any other time of the year. With the 2020 that everyone has endured, there is probably more pressure on spending a little more this year than previous Christmas celebrations. 

However, nobody wants to start 2021 in the Red. So, you must do some financial planning and budgeting to avoid financial hangover. For many people, December is a stressful month in terms of finance. This article aims to give you some tips on how to save money while still enjoying Christmas.

According to American Express, Britons plan to spend more on Christmas gifts, decorations, and new clothes this year compared to 2019. However, for many people, it will be a time for savvy spending and watching the pennies. 

Around half of us will be establishing a Christmas budget this year, according to MoneySuperMarket research. They also state that around two-in-five of those budget setters believe they’ll stick to their spending limits, while the remainder expects to exceed their budgets.

If you’ve restricted yourself to a tight budget this Christmas, here are some tips to staying within it and avoiding a New Year in debt.

1. Do Some Financial Planning

The Christmas Saving Calculator is available from MoneySuperMarket. It will help you work out your festive spending and calculate the amount you need to save to afford the type of Christmas you want. There is a similar planning tool available from the Money Advice Service for making your Christmas budget.

Rather than stick all of your spending onto your credit card as you buy things spontaneously, plan things out. List all those people you are going to buy gifts for, and the amount you can spend on them. Base the figure you will spend on the amount you can afford after considering your bills and essential spending. 

2. Stay Within Your Budget

Once you’ve set your budget, stick to it! To make sure you have a chance of sticking to your budget, you must keep track of your spending. If you don’t keep track of where your money is going, you are more likely to overspend. 

Use a mobile phone app, an excel spreadsheet, or even a notebook; just make sure that it works for you. Create a folder in your email to collect receipts or even a separate email account that you go do all your online spending with.

3. Buy a Family or Secret Santa Gifts

If you are buying for many people or you have a large family, then there are a couple of ways you can keep costs down. Purchasing a ‘family gift’ that everyone can enjoy is a great way to save some money. An ideal family gift could be a large box of chocolates or a board game. Secret Santa gifts are fun, and everyone only needs to buy one, which can really bring the expense down.

photo of secret santa present

4. Keep a Keen Eye On Your Accounts

Don’t wait to overspend or get into difficulties before checking your finances. If you can set up alerts with your bank and credit card provider, do so. Getting such prompts will help to keep your spending on track. If you don’t use alerts, make sure to check your accounts regularly.

5. Avoid Buy-Now-Pay-Later Deals

As tempting as such offers may seem, you should avoid them unless you have a plan on getting them entirely repaid within the interest-free period. If you take out one of these deals and fail to pay it off in that time, you’ll be hit with horrendously high-interest payments on the outstanding balance.

6. Use Free Delivery Options

Delivery costs might seem reasonable, but they can soon mount up when making a lot of purchases online. There are plenty of suppliers offering free delivery, so try to buy from those. 

7. Check Your Gift List

Before you start buying your presents, make sure that everyone on your gift list is an essential recipient. Be honest with friends and family, and tell them that you want to save some money this year. They may well be relieved, as they could be in a similar financial situation.

8. Use Vouchers and Discount Codes

Google Chrome has a ‘DealFinder’ plug-in that will help you find ways to get discounts on certain goods. Once it’s installed, it automatically searches the web for promotions, discounts, and vouchers based on your search.

9. Avoid Being Enticed By Sales

Buying something in a sale is only a bargain if you were intending to buy it in the first place. Don’t get caught up in the hype of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Often, prices get inflated before these two events, so they look more appealing. You can check yearly Amazon prices at uk.camelcamelcamel.com to make sure you’re getting a genuine bargain or not.

Photo of a note pad and pen next to some fruit and veg

10. Plan Your Meals

The amount of food that gets thrown out at Christmas is shameful. Don’t get fooled into buying too much food that will ultimately end up in the bin. WRAP has a fantastic food portion calculator that will help you make an accurate estimate of the food you need to buy depending on the guests you will feed. Also, avoid offers like 3-for-2 when you only actually need one. Substituting high-end food with own-brand products will also help you save some of your food budgets.

10. Plan Your Meals

The amount of food that gets thrown out at Christmas is shameful. Don’t get fooled into buying too much food that will ultimately end up in the bin. WRAP has a fantastic food portion calculator that will help you make an accurate estimate of the food you need to buy depending on the guests you will feed. Also, avoid offers like 3-for-2 when you only actually need one. Substituting high-end food with own-brand products will also help you save some of your food budgets.

11. Use Cashback Offers

You can earn a little extra cash as you shop through websites such as TopCashback or Quidco. They run affiliate programmes with major retailers and offer you a cut in the form of what they earn. You can get a cashback of anything between 1-12%.

12. Shop Around For Big Ticket Items

Check out some of the larger retailers for discounts on your more expensive items. Dune London, Currys PC World, and eBay are places to check for the best deals.

13. Sign Up for a Loyalty Programme

Supermarket loyalty programmes or newsletters offer discounts of up to 10%. You will also be among the first to get informed about Christmas special offers. 

14. Don’t Check Out Immediately

If you place items in your online shopping cart, the retailer knows about it. If you fail to check out, they may well send you a discount code to persuade you to complete the transaction.

photo of lady on laptop signing up for special deal

Conclusion

Christmas is a beautiful time of the year, and it is right that you treat yourself and your family. However, try to do it in a way that will not lead to a financial hangover in the New Year. Hopefully, this article will have provided you with some tips for cutting back on your Christmas expenses while still having a good time.

Merry Christmas!

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