Keep your Christmas spending under control this year with these 9 simple money saving tips
In association with Card Factory
Do you love Christmas but hate the cost of it? Once you start shopping for Christmas, it’s very easy for all those little purchases to start adding up to a big bill.
The best way to keep the cost of Christmas down is to set a budget and start saving towards it as early as possible. But if you haven’t already started a Christmas saving account, these tips will help you to cut the cost of Christmas.
Start planning now
Try not to leave it til the last minute to start making your plans. The sooner you make a start on it, the more chance you will have to spot bargains. But leaving your Christmas shopping til December makes you more likely to succumb to impulse purchases and panic buying.
So start making your plans now to give yourself the best chance of keeping your Christmas spending under control.
Set a realistic Christmas budget
I know it can be tempting to plan a picture perfect Christmas like you see in the magazines. But unless you’re lucky enough to have unlimited funds, this is likely to result in a painful credit card bill in January!
So before you start shopping, work out how much you can realistically spend on Christmas this year and then work out how you’re going to spend your budget.
This doesn’t just mean gifts and cards but also food, drink and all those other little festive extras.
List making is your friend
Lists are your most powerful tool when it comes to sticking to your Christmas budget.
First make a list of all the people you plan to buy gifts for, and assign each one a budget. Then add some ideas for what you would like to buy for them.
Next do the same for food and drink, right down to the last cranberry and wafer thin mint. Not only will this help you stick to your budget, but it will also cut down the risk of forgetting any vital ingredients!
Find Savings Online
Chances are that you’re going to do more of your Christmas shopping online this year. The good news is that online shopping can make it easier to stick to your Christmas budget. For instance, you’ll find some great deals on Christmas cards and wrapping paper at Card Factory.
But it’s also easy to get carried away when you’re clicking from site to site. So keep a track of all your purchases as you go along, to make sure that you don’t end up overspending.
Keep your eyes open for discounts
Get into the habit of looking out for deals and savings when you’re shopping either in store or on the internet. You’ll find lots of information on latest discounts and deals on price comparison sites and websites like MoneySavingExpert.
But remember that a deal is only a bargain if you were planning to buy it at the original price. If not, it’s just cutting into your Christmas budget and you’ll have to sacrifice something else if you want to keep your Christmas spending on track.
Keep the cost of Christmas gifts down
2020 has been such a stressful year that you may feel like treating your friends and family at Christmas. But gifts will take up a large part of your Christmas spending, and in a year when many people are worried about household finances, the cost can cause a lot of stress.
So it might be worth having a conversation about setting a spending limit on gifts, or even not exchanging gifts at all.
Or why not run a Secret Santa with a £5 or £10 limit for a fun way to keep the cost of Christmas presents down. Secret Santa generators like Elfster or Drawnames make it really easy to set up your Secret Santa.
Make your own Christmas gifts
If you’re feeling crafty or you’re a whizz in the kitchen, why not make some of your own Christmas gifts this year?
You could make some gorgeous festive cakes and biscuits to give away, or a selection of jams and chutneys. You’ll find plenty of gorgeous festive recipes on the internet and in Christmas magazines, and you can buy hampers and festive gift packaging at Card Factory.
Even if you’re not really the crafty kind, you could make some gift vouchers to give to your friends and family. You could offer to babysit for a friend so that they can have a night out, or to make your partner’s favourite meal. Let your imagination run wild!
Plan your Festive Food
Food and drink are important to any celebration, so you’ll probably spend a big chunk of your Christmas budget on them. Planning your Christmas menu carefully will help you to write a shopping list and plan a budget for food and drink. And then sticking to your plans will make it easier to keep your Christmas spending under control.
Don’t forget to add in little extras you’ll need, such as foil, matches and paracetamol!
Shop online for drinks
You can find some fantastic festive savings when you shop online for drinks. Wine sites like Laithwaites or Waitrose Cellar are excellent for good value Christmas drinks, but it’s also worth checking out supermarket deals from early November.
These are our top tips for Christmas savings – what’s your top money saving tip?