Christmas can be a very expensive time of year, especially if you go a little overboard on the presents and mince pies. But the truth is, Christmas doesn’t actually have to break the bank. Many families have just as good a time as you do, but on up to half the budget. Simply by making a few financially savvy choices. And, the good news? I’m here to share 10 of these here with you today!
1. Know what you’re buying, before you buy
Let’s start with one of the most important rules for saving money at Christmas. Before you head out Christmas shopping, always have a clear idea of exactly what you’re going to buy. That way, you can avoid buying any extra gifts that catch your eye and quickly lead to you spending twice as much on some people.
2. Agree spending limits
If you’re a part of a big family, then it can help to agree on spending limits with people. For example, if you’ve got 5 cousins who you see on Christmas Day, then make a pact to only spend maximum £5 or £10 on each other. That way, everyone gets something from everyone, and no one feels like they’re not spending enough.
3. Save your wrapping paper
If you’re wrapping dozens of presents every year, then the amount of paper you use quickly ads up. So one of the most financially savvy tips at Christmas is to save and store used wrapping paper for next year. As long as you open presents with care, then there’s no reason any creases can’t be quickly ironed out.
4. Keep track of your finances
A simple Google Sheet or Excel Spreadsheet is a powerful tool in helping you to curb yuletide expense. We recommend keeping track of everything you spend, right through from wrapping paper to turkey stuffing. And a spreadsheet will keep a constant tab of the running total. This alone is a powerful way to help you realise just how much those small £1, £2 and £5 items stack up.
5. Make use of cashback
It’s inevitable that you will need to splash out on some people at Christmas. But when you do, you might as well make use of cashback. Which gives you money back on purchases from many high street retailers and online stores. The best one we’ve found is Top Cashback. You simply login to your account prior to making any online purchase and can save huge amounts over the course of just one Christmas season.
6. Swap the cash or Christmas cheques
These are a wonderful idea and you can download them for free here from Money Saving Expert. Simply print them off and hand over whatever you like to your loved one in the form of the good old-fashioned written word. Make them redeemable at any time throughout the year. How about a neck massage for your loved one? Or a free car ride to the airport for a friend.
7. Start buying gifts earlier in the year
Rather than shouldering the burden of all Christmas expenses in December, why not start spreading them out across the year? Simply by purchasing gifts for some people months in advance, as and when you spot a good bargain. Then, once December rolls around, not only do you have less to stress about in terms of buying gifts, you can guarantee your bank account won’t take a nasty hit as well.
8. The same goes for groceries
This approach isn’t just limited to Christmas presents. In fact, you can apply the same logic to much of your food and drink spend as well. Many savvy homeowners set aside a closet or cupboard in Tehri home that they slowly fill with non-perishables each month. You can, once again, get items at a bargain price, as well as benefiting from spreading your expenses throughout the year.
9. Head online before you hit the stores
Nowadays, you can buy almost anything online. And, at least half the time, it is cheaper or just as cheap to buy something online as it is in store. Especially with tools like Amazon Prime which allows you to buy an unlimited number of items without any shipping charges. A simple Google or Amazon search will tell you whether or not you can grab a bargain online before overspending in store.
10. Skip the brand names
This is a crucial money saving tip that will benefit you all year round, not just at Christmas! Instead of choosing to buy brand named products, you can instead save huge amounts on your Christmas food and drink bill by going for supermarket branded items. Perhaps the most obvious culprit here is Coca-Cola who have done such a good job at making their brand synonymous with Christmas (well, I guess they did practically invent Santa Claus!).
Yep, it’s really that simple. By following these 10 very straightforward Christmas money saving tips, you’ll notice a big difference in your bank account by the time Boxing Day rolls around. That means you can continue your savings plan throughout the year, and put your hard earned money towards something much more rewarding. So, Merry Christmas!