It’s no big secret that Christmas can get a little on the expensive side. Between all of the presents, food, decorations and festive fun, the pennies can come pouring out – and it’s especially frustrating when you never had the pennies there in the first place. While our payday loans are there in the case of an emergency, we’ve decided to pull together a few money saving tips to help you out this Christmas. So grab a hot chocolate, curl up with a blanket, and take a look at our simple saving suggestions.
- Make A Budget And Stick To It.
We can’t stress enough how helpful making a budget can be – in fact, it’s the first step you need to take when Christmas comes rolling around. You could be working out your Christmas budget as early as November 1st, or even October if you really want to be prepared. No matter when you start to prepare for Christmas, you need to do it, but remember to be realistic in the funds and time you give yourself. You might set yourself a “£10 per person” budget for gifts (likely not including your children), but how likely are you to actually stick to that? What if you spot the perfect gift for £12.99? Or £20? We’re not saying don’t budget for gifts, but simply make sure that you have a buffer each way – and besides, if you do stick to the initial budget, you’ll have extra cash to splash in the January sales!
- Look Out For The Cheapest Deals.
For those on a tight budget, you’ll likely be doing this anyway. Finding deals at Christmas is the easiest thing. Stores both on the high street and online will have sales galore, so those gifts you’ve been dying to buy can sit there tempting you on Amazon’s homepage all December long – but don’t buy the first discount you see. If Amazon has a sale on the item, it’s likely that another retailer will too. Popular toys and gifts are popular for a reason, and stores will take advantage of this by discounting them to draw attention to their store instead – so take full advantage of this. Shop around a little, and you never know what you might find.
- Spend Some Time Looking For Discount Codes.
This isn’t unlike shopping around for deals, but finding discount codes can be an ideal way to save even more cash than plain old deals. Discount codes will often apply to more than a sale, and while 20% off might not sound like much, if you’re planning on buying a lot from a single place, this can be a great way to save the pounds.
- Use Amazon’s Free Prime Trial!
If you’re planning on doing a lot of your shopping online this Christmas, why not sign up for Amazon’s free Prime trial? This trial will get you free next day delivery on eligible items for the entire month, which is perfect when ordering last minute gifts! But not only will you have access to next day delivery, you’ll also be granted early access to some of Amazon’s best lightning deals of the day – yet another way to save the pennies on decorations and gifts.
- Don’t Over-Buy!
This is a mistake that so many people make each year. As tempting as it might be to buy the biggest turkey and shiniest decorations, you need to stop and think. How many days will you be eating turkey sandwiches if you buy the largest turkey? How much of it will go to waste when you physically can’t stomach a single crumb more? And how about the decorations? As sparkly as that bespoke star for the top of the tree is, do you really need it? There are likely to be equally as sparkly ones at a fraction of the price – and maybe you can save up over the next year and work up to buying it. Whatever you end up over-spending on, make sure that this year you stop and think. If you’re a culprit for impulse buying, or come to regret a purchase, don’t buy it or buy far less of it.
- “Under £5” Gifts
Under £5 gifts basically refer to anything, you guessed it, under £5 and still a decent gift – and this can really apply to anyone. Your friends and family will simply appreciate the gesture, and with the ‘secret santa’ fad taking off big time, the budget gifts are available by the bucket load. Buy something thoughtful or even novelty for those who you think would take it well, but don’t spend too much on it! – especially for colleagues or anyone who isn’t your immediate family. It may sound harsh, but believe us when we say, the good gifts are out there.
- Remember That Kids Aren’t Snobs.
In short, kids aren’t going to care whether they have the top brand thing, or a cheaper alternative. While this probably won’t apply to every child, most aren’t fussy, so you shouldn’t be either! They’ll just be happy that they’re getting gifts, and even if there’s a few tears when they get a brand-less tablet rather than a brand spanking new iPad, those will soon stop once it’s up and running and they realise there probably isn’t much difference.
- Use Free Apps And Pound Shops For Festive Fun.
If you’ve got young kids, filling the holidays with entertainment doesn’t have to cost a fortune. You can pick up Christmas movies from a charity shop for a pound or two, and if you pop to the pound shop or discount stores, you’ll find all of the decorations and Christmas craft activities you could ever dream of – not to mention the free apps you can find! If you have a smartphone, take a look on the app store for free ‘santa video’ apps, or festive-themed games to keep the little ones happy when you’re running around preparing the food or secretly wrapping presents!
- Check Outlet Stores!
Here’s a secret from us to you – outlet stores aren’t just bricks and mortar. In fact, online outlet stores have taken off big time. No longer will you need to queue in endless lines of cars or angry shoppers. Instead, you can just pop online and get shopping! Amazon, Pandora and even Build a Bear have an outlet section, so have a Google and see what you can find.
- Get Creative.
If all else fails? Get creative. Make your own decorations, try and make more out of less, and even take a look at Pinterest for some fun DIY gift ideas. From baking, to making sugar scrubs and other toiletries, there’s something for everyone. Take a little time out and have a look around to see what you can find!