If you are looking to save money this Christmas, here are some of our top tips to save on gifts and spending this season. Let the Christmas holidays be stress-free and have no worrying thoughts about how you are going to afford a great Christmas for you and your family. It can be very overwhelming to plan and organise everything at the same time. By following some of these tips, you can make sure that you have a very Happy Christmas full of festive fun.
- Watch what you spend on the Christmas food shop
Are you hosting for your bubble? You must know the experience of going last minute Christmas Food shopping – you over shop, resulting in food going to waste. When buying food, create a plan and be selective in what you buy. Remember that if you are hosting, you could ask that your guests bring a dish of homemade food or that they bring the drinks. This will mean that the whole cost of feeding everyone doesn’t fall just down to you. When buying packs of vegetables, be careful not to buy too much – it can sometimes be cheaper to buy your veg individually! Any left overs can easily be made into a soup that you can freeze and keep for you to eat in January.
- Book any travel arrangements in advance
If you are looking at going away this Christmas, why not get ahead of the game by paying for your ticket in advance, before getting caught up in the high Christmas period fares. Even if you are only travelling in the UK, tickets around the Christmas period are usually more pricey than at other times of the year. Try booking your ticket early to get the cheapest prices possible.
- Set a strict Christmas budget
By setting yourself a budget, you know how much you are going to spend, and the most important thing is sticking to it. The simplest way is to stay organised and keep track of what you are spending. You could do this by keeping all the receipts from everything you purchase, then adding it up at the end. Before setting a budget that you are comfortable with, you to need to assess your current financial situation and write down all your in and outgoing costs. If you are not very good at budgeting, you can use the Money Dashboard app which allows you to manage all your accounts and tells you how much money you have left until your next pay cheque. Another, great money management banking app is Monzo, which doesn’t just do banking, it sends you notifications notifying you of how much you have left of your budget to spend on certain things and to give a pre-warning if you are spending too fast.
- Gifting homemade gifts
Show your family and friends how much you appreciate them by gifting them a homemade gift you have made with your personal touch. Who wouldn’t love some of your home-baked goodies or a beautifully made hamper basket with all their favourite things? Do some research into different homemade gift ideas, the internet is full of great ideas! Remember, it’s the thought that counts and the extra saving is a bonus!
- Wrapping paper and Christmas cards
Why not use your creative skills to make your own Christmas paper and cards. Add the personal touch and hand detail of designing it yourself. Buy some basic wrapping paper and cards that you can decorate yourself. Finish off the gift you have wrapped with a handmade ribbon to give each gift the extra touch. By doing this, you’re saving a little extra as well as being kind to the planet on a budget.
- Secret Santa
Buying for a big group of friends why not suggest the idea to the whole group. Secret Santa is a great way of buying a gift for a friend or someone in a large group, maybe your fellow work colleagues at a low cost. Usually, a price gift limit is set by the group, and you have control over how much you spend on the gift. Then everyone puts their names in a hat and you each individually pick out a name without telling the others in the group who you are buying a gift for. This means everyone gets a present which saves you buying as a present for everyone with the element of surprise added to it.