Christmas can be an expensive time of year for many of us. But don’t let your festive spending leave you with a financial hangover in the New Year. According to the Money Advice Trust, the average British family spends £800 a year on Christmas. Spread the cost of your Christmas shopping with our money saving tips so as soon the holidays roll round you’re not spending more than you have.
- We can’t stress enough the importance of planning. When it comes to Christmas presents sit down with the family and plan a realistic budget and stick to it. This way you won’t end up splashing out on lots of gifts and be left with a huge debt to come January. When it comes to food the same goes. Plan a budget based on the number of people and write down everything you need well in advance of your Christmas food shopping trip.
Tip: Try downshifting when it comes to food, like going for supermarket basic ranges instead which are normally cheaper or visiting low-cost supermarkets where the quality can often be just as good.
- Use cashback and reward credit cards for as many of your festive purchases as you can. Some card providers will reward you for using their card to buy things either in the form of money back or points that can be exchanged for discounts, travel or merchandise. If you build up your points in advance of Christmas by using your cashback or reward card to pay for everyday expenses, you could use the cashback or rewards towards Christmas presents.
Tip: If considering a form of credit to pay for Christmas, check your Noddle credit report and score first to see where you stand financially and check the cards you’re most likely to be eligible for.
- Protect your purchases and pay on credit. When making numerous and especially large purchases, the last thing you want is for something to go wrong. By paying on credit card, you have payment protection, which means the credit card company is also liable if, for example, the goods are fake, faulty or fail to arrive. Read our guide on Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 here. Only use credit if you are able to make the repayments.
- Start prepping for next Christmas. The earlier you prep your finances for Christmas the easier and cheaper it can be. You also won’t have the bulk of expenses happening in November and December and can instead spread the cost over the year. In January all the previous year’s Christmas stock is heavily discounted, so take advantage and you’ll not only save yourself some cash but you’ll be well ahead in the planning.
- Take stock of everything you don’t use. From unused Christmas presents to old mobile phones and gadgets, you can sell just about anything on auction sites like eBay. And the better condition it is in, the more you can get for it. Not only will this reduce the clutter but you can use the money to pay for Christmas gifts and food.
So if you’re trying to tighten Santa’s belt this festive season, a few simple steps can ensure you don’t overspend and can enjoy the big day without having to worry about paying off all the expenses.