It’s that time of year again, the time of year where every penny counts. Christmas is the happiest time of year, however so much effort and energy goes into the big day. From the menu, to the presents, to the table decor and the tree – everybody wants that picture perfect Christmas, but unfortunately this doesn’t come cheap.
In fact research suggests that families are under great pressure to overspend. The average family is expected to spend over £800 celebrating Christmas this year, with the majority of the money being spent on food and drink, as well as cards and decorations.
So how can we still be part of the festivities that we love without burning holes through our wallets? Here are some tips for saving money around the festive period:
- Sell your gold: Whether you have a wardrobe full of clothes you don’t make the most of, or unwanted toys floating about under your toes that your children have outgrown, why not sell your clutter? Maybe you have a box full of beautiful jewellery that you don’t often wear; for all you know you could literally be sitting on a gold mine. Did you know you can sell your jewellery for fantastic prices with immediate payments? You’ll be hitting two birds with one stone; the clear out is bound to make room for that which Santa decides to gift you with this year, AND you’ll still be coming away with a few extra pennies! In fact, it could be a lot more than just pennies.
- Budget: In the lead up to the big day, make a Christmas budget. From presents for loved ones to the perfect tree, it all adds up. If you plan and organise your spending, your credit card won’t get such a shock.
- Shop gradually: Rather than doing all of your Christmas shopping in one hit, why not put aside a few pounds each week for all of the things that make you happy over the festive period. Spending gradually will stop you going into overdraft this year.
- Get in the kitchen: Instead of buying presents for all of your neighbours, why not bake them some mince pies or festive goodies of your choice? Not only will you save money, but they will be touched by the effort and sentiment. Plus, you can get the kids involved which they’ll love!
- Keep your eyes peeled for legitimate deals! Buy one get one free on cosy jumpers? That’s Dad and Grandad sorted then. Sometimes we’re put off by deals thinking that they’re all just marketing ploys, but there are good deals out there.
- Plan your pressies: Have you ever bought someone a gift and then gone into panic mode about whether they’ll like it? You may even go out and buy them lots of random bits to go with it. This is a mistake. You end up spending way more than you planned when you could have just bought them someone fabulous to begin with. If you really think hard about something they’d love before you hit the shops and get in a frazzle, you won’t go wrong.
- Think outside the box: Presents don’t have to be clothes, perfume, bubble bath or posh chocolate. Why not surprise a family member with a luxury spa treatment or tickets to see a show you know they’ll love? There are some nifty deals out there, and you’ll be giving them a memory that they’ll cherish rather than a gift they may forget.
- Delegate: If you’re hosting this year and the inevitable question pops up – ‘would you like is to bring anything?’ Take them up on it! If they’re willing, it isn’t rude. You can ask your friends and family to bring drinks or a dessert to the table which isn’t a big ask, but will take some pressure off you.
Christmas time is known as the season of goodwill, and there is plenty we can do to show our appreciation to our family and friends without going into crazy debt! By following these steps, you’ll be starting the new year with a little extra cash in your pocket than the rest of your friends and family.