Is it too early to talk about Christmas? Even though it may be a little different this year, we can still look forward to some time off with our family. The festive period can be an expensive time of year with all the presents, decorations, food and drink to buy. However, now is the best time to start saving and with that in mind, below is our list of 7 tips for saving money during the run up to Christmas.
7 Tips for How To Save Money this Christmas
1. Keep a Christmas budget
Make sure to put in place a budget before you hit the shops this Christmas. Without a budget you run the risk of overspending and getting yourself into a tricky situation come the new year. Check out the Money Saving Expert’s tips for keeping a budget this Christmas, including his free budget planner!
2. Save on wrapping
One roll of Christmas paper may not break the bank but when you’re needing to buy several rolls for your gift-wrapping then it may be worth thinking of an alternative. For instance, instead of stocking up on wrapping paper, why not use any gift bags left over from last Christmas or, if you haven’t any left, some brown paper and a piece of string or ribbon will do the trick.
3. Review your outgoings
One of the easiest ways to start saving money is to look at what you are currently spending your money on. Things like your mortgage and car payments and any monthly billings are going to be a regular outgoing from your bank account, but what about those non-essential outgoings; how can you reduce them?
Take a look through your old bank statements and make a note of how much money you are spending (and potentially wasting) on your weekly shopping, clothes, takeaways, coffee and treats during the week. Is there anything here you can reduce? By noting down where your disposable income is going, you can soon start to notice big savings on non-essential outgoings.
4. Homemade gifts
A homemade gift is not only more personal, but it will also save you from splashing out on more expensive versions. For example, you could make a stock of homemade jams, fruit compote or chutney then put them in recycled jars to give away to friends. Dress up your jars with some festive labels or decorations. Alternatively, bake some festive biscuits or sweets treats and wrap them up in cellophane and ribbon for a delicious and thoughtful gift.
5. Quality time versus gifts
Christmas can sometimes become so focused on buying gifts that it’s easy to miss out on quality time with loved ones. After keeping our distance for quite some time this year and missing out on those precious moments, instead of buying for everyone, suggest to family and friends that you wrap up warm, go for a walk together and enjoy the great outdoors, spend the day cooking a meal to enjoy together, bring out your old photo albums and reminisce by the fire or enjoy your favourite board games, as long as there are no family fall outs over the Monopoly board.
6. Switch and save!
The Christmas food shopping list can sometimes be the length of your arm and can fairly add up when you get to the checkout! Until the end of November, if you switch online to Electric Ireland, you will receive a £30 Tesco voucher (Find the promo code and T&Cs here) which you could spend on a turkey, drinks or even presents – and it would definitely save a hole in your pocket this Christmas.
7. DIY decorations
Instead of forking out on expensive Christmas baubles, wreaths, tinsel or other decorations this Christmas, why not spend an afternoon creating budget-friendly decorations with the family. Check out our Christmas Decoration Ideas for inspiration.
How are you saving for the big day? Share your tips on our Facebook and Twitter pages using the hashtag #SmarterLiving