I realised it was time for a Christmas money saving tips post after walking around the shops today. It was hard to avoid the Christmas decorations and the festive tunes playing out. Christmas can often feel quite daunting with so much to prepare, so many presents to buy and meals to cook, let alone where all the money is going to come from to fund it.
1. Determine your budget
Ideally, you want to only spend the money you have available, taking out a loan or borrowing on credit cards will only mean you start off the New Year in debt. Once you have a budget set, try your hardest to stick to it. Number 2 will help.
2. Start with a Christmas List
Before you spend a penny, write yourself a list of everything that you need to consider for Christmas. Write down the names of all the people you want to buy for, the meals you need to cook (including drinks), places you need to travel and items you need to post. Don’t miss a thing. Now you can break down your budget so that you know exactly how much money you have to spend on each person, meal, place etc.
3. Sell unwanted items
We all have ‘that box’ where we put the presents we have been gifted that aren’t quite ‘us’ or are duplicates. If you can re-gift them, brilliant it will save you buying a present but make sure you have kept a note of who gave it to you in the first place to save embarrassment if you give it back to them. If you can’t re-gift it then try selling items on eBay or local sales pages. I have personally found Facebook much better in recent years without the sting of the fees.
4. Make a no-present pact
Obviously, by this, I don’t mean with your children and close family. Over the last few years, my friends and I have made a no-present pact as we found that it was becoming harder to afford Christmas. As our families have grown bigger, buying presents had got out of hand so now we buy only for each other, not the children as they get lots from family. With some friends, we have agreed to have a day or night out together after Christmas instead of presents because we feel time together is more important than a gift.
5. Grab online deals
I rarely buy a thing these days without first doing my ‘homework’ online to see where I can find the best price. If you’re really clever you can even grab yourself free kids stuff which will help towards stocking fillers. I generally start with Google Shopping to get an idea of prices.
6. Buy charity gifts – double the giving
More and more people are trying to ensure their gifts ‘mean something’ so how about buying new fairtrade items from Charity Shops or even making a donation on behalf of someone else. Lillie’s Godfather adopted a baby mountain gorilla on her behalf. Once a quarter she receives updates on the gorilla and the other amazing animals the WWF protects. This is just one example of the many amazing ways you can support charities for double the giving.
7. Embrace Cashback Deals
We signed up to TopCashBack years ago and have been reaping the benefits ever since. As a digital age family, we do a lot of our shopping online so it makes sense to always make the purchase through a cashback site to earn whilst we spend.
8. Make your own Christmas gifts
We always make our own Teacher Gifts and I will often make a few jewellery or crochet gifts over the Christmas period. Of course, crafting isn’t for everyone but there’s always Etsy where the Christmas crafting has been done for you.
9. Shop Outlet Stores
Outlet stores both on retail parks or online offer huge discounts against the standard high street stores. Some outlet parks also offer further discount cards, our local one gives an extra 10% off store prices to those who have the card or app. It’s always worth looking around for deals.
10. Shop Online Local Marketplaces
Just as I recommended to you earlier on in these tips at #3 other people will be selling their unwanted gifts to make a little money before Christmas so check out the local Marketplace apps like Facebook and eBay to see what bargains you can find. We often find brand new boxes of Lego at a fraction of the price.
Do you have any other Christmas money saving tips that I have missed off? I would love to hear your feedback in the comments below.