12 Easy Steps To Save Money This Christmas
Your carefully planned budget can easily be swept away during the winter storm that Christmas is approaching. According to a new study, 2022 Cost of Christmas by World Remit, Brits are set to spend 65% more this Christmas compared to 2021 due to inflation and the rising cost of living.
But you can have a happy Christmas and New Year without plummeting into financial blues.
This blog is not intended to be financial advice. This blog has been created to raise awareness on how to save money this Christmas. Lendwise is not responsible for any damages caused and you should do research before investing or committing to a financial adviser.
1- Create a plan
Before going overboard, work out how much you want to spend and how much you can afford. You should aim to keep within your means to help you avoid unnecessary debt or unexpected expenses.
There are plenty of tools you can use to help create a plan. There are banking apps with an in-built allocation system to help you keep track of your spending.
2- Stay on budget
It’s easy to overspend in the heat of the moment, whether you’re walking through a Christmas market or a sale in your favourite store. However, you should keep strong and stay within your set budget, and only go over if necessary.
3- Track your bank accounts
Most bank accounts will have an optional notification setting which will alert you once you have dipped below a certain threshold and it would be wise to turn the setting on.
4- Be aware of discounts/sales
You shouldn’t get carried away with the seasonal discounts and sales during the Christmas and New Year period. Take a step back and think for a moment – are the deals actually saving you money or are you spending for the sake of saving money? If it’s the latter, you are making an impulse purchase and unplanned purchases.
5- Don’t over-cater
One of the most common over-spending during Christmas is the food section. The shops are packed with seasonal-only tempting meals and drinks, and buy-one-get-one-free (or similar) deals.
Before purchasing, make sure you require said food. Can you make it cheaper than already made? How much food are you planning to eat? Will you eat it all or will it go into the bin?
Have you considered looking at the shop’s own-brand food instead? Typically, these are the same quality food that goes into the hyper-inflated brand packages.
6- Subscribe to newsletters or discount alerts
It’s worth subscribing to e-newsletters for your favourite retail or online website in case of sweet deals on offer. While the discount may not be much, every penny saved is a penny that could be used elsewhere or saved in an emergency fund.
The alerts could also prevent last-minute panic buying which could mean you pay or buy too much more than needed. Again, it’s down to the first step … planning.
7- Start purchases early
Consider getting your seasonal shopping done earlier. By going early and during the week, you can avoid the prime rush period of shopping and everything going out of stock.
8- Credit card
This is only on the list for two things. The first is to take advantage of offers with 0% interest, which could help you overcome this month’s slightly higher budget requirements.
The second is to use the low interest rate and pay at least the minimum amount back every month to help build a credit score rating.
Do bear in mind that typically the zero % does run out after a period of time. Remember, don’t go crazy, only buy what you can afford to repay.
9- Price comparison
There are numerous platforms online where you may pinpoint the best deals for the prices of goods from various retailers. It’s surprisingly easy how much you can save using these free tools. You could also use the extra funds you save to strengthen your finances in the New Year.
10- Pause unnecessary spending
Many of us enjoy treating ourselves to a cup of coffee before work or a tasty outside lunch. But what if instead, you bring coffee and pre-make lunch from home – you could start saving money without realising the difference? By cutting these unnecessary expenses throughout the month, you could make significant savings.
11- Christmas dinner alternatives
In the UK, the typical main for a Christmas dinner is a turkey. However, turkeys are becoming increasingly expensive, especially around the Christmas period. Instead, choose a good-size chicken that provides a very similar but juicer meal – which many people prefer.
12- Thoughtful gifts
Many people think Christmas is all about purchasing the most expensive gifts to impress the receiver. However, Christmas should be celebrated with gifting presents which were given much thought into acquiring. Instead of purchasing an expensive gift, consider a gift that would be appreciated and treasured for years to come.