As much as we all love mince pies, Michael Bublé and watching Home Alone (for the 92nd time!), Christmas can be a stressful time. After all, it doesn’t come cheap, especially if you have children. The cost of this wonderful time of year can quickly spiral, with many people facing significant bills in the New Year. If you want to avoid getting into financial trouble during the festive period, it makes sense to start saving as early as possible. Here are our top Christmas money-saving tips.
Set a budget
You need to sit down and think carefully about how much you can really afford to spend this Christmas. Whilst your mind may be on buying presents, you also need to consider things like food, decorations and socialising. Many people feel pressured to spend more than they can afford, with one in five taking out credit. If you want to avoid starting 2020 in Christmas debt, it makes sense to consider your budget now and stick to it. Consider buying your presents throughout the year so that you don't have to spend significant amounts of money at one time. We have a great offering of Stocking Fillers all year round that you can dabble in whenever you have spare money to put towards Christmas.
Keep track of your spending
Buying Christmas presents can be exciting, but costs can quickly escalate if you’re not careful. Keep track of what you’re spending in the run up to the big day, making sure that you’re sticking to the budget. If it helps, you could simply withdraw cash each week so you know how much you can spend.
As we all know, the best bargains can often be found online, so why buy everything on the high street? Christmas displays in department stores are pretty to look at, but it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll find what you’re looking for cheaper online. With our website selling a huge selection of kids toys at low prices we are a prime example of how an online Pound Shop is more likely to be a parents' first point of call instead of the high street stores with higher prices and less convenient shopping abilities.
Get a cashback credit card
Whilst we’ve warned against credit cards earlier in this article, they’re not all bad if you use them responsibly. In fact, a cashback credit card can even save you money. Every time you make a purchase, you’ll get a percentage back, making your shopping more affordable right away. Make sure you pay off the credit card in full every month to avoid hefty interest charges though.
Cash in on your loyalty
Far too many people have loyalty cards such as Boots Advantage or Sainsbury’s Nectar and never bother to claim the points they’ve earned. Whilst it might not seem like a lot of money, it all adds up and the savings can be surprising if you save all year. By Christmas, you could find yourself with a good amount of cash to spend in-store.
Ditch Christmas cards
Christmas cards may be traditional, but they can also be expensive, with the average household in the UK sending a whopping 33 cards every year. The cost of buying, writing and sending them can climb to more than £50! So, why not save this money and send a digital Christmas card instead? It’s quick and easy and you’ll be saving paper too! There are so many free websites that let you make your own cards complete with family photos and videos. If you love taking the time to write the cards and you like to make them sentimental then why not make your own at home? Not only is this the perfect family activity but it'll be a nice touch to show how much effort you have put in. Just grab the paint, glue, stickers and more from our Craft Supplies and get started!
Have a pre-Christmas clear out
Have a look through your things and put aside anything you no longer want or need and encourage your family to do the same. Having a pre-Christmas clear out will not only create space and get your home in order for the festive season, but it can also put some much-needed cash in your pocket. Sell your things online or at a local car boot sale. There are sure to be many people looking for second-hand gifts before Christmas.
Consider homemade gifts
Many people think that the price-tag is the most important thing when buying a present, but that’s just not true. Sometimes, the best gifts are homemade, and that’s because so much effort and thought have been put into them. Your friends and loved ones will really appreciate your gift as they’ll know you have really thought about what they would like. Ideas for homemade gifts include bath bombs, soap, cakes, and jewellery.
Don’t buy too much food
Food is undoubtedly one of the best parts of Christmas, with pigs in blankets and mince pies particularly popular choices! However, many people in the UK are guilty of overbuying food at Christmas, with much of it heading for the bin once Boxing Day has been and gone. According to Unilever, Britons waste over 4m Christmas meals every year, including more than 260,000 turkeys and 7.5 million mince pies! So, try to think more carefully about what your family will really eat this Christmas. Reducing your food waste will help the environment whilst also saving you money in the process.
It’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas, especially if you have lots of family and friends to buy for. Hopefully, these saving tips will help make the festive season more affordable and reduce the chances of you going into the New Year with debt. Christmas can be a super expensive time of year, but it doesn’t have to be if you’re savings savvy.