Although the ideal version of Christmas is to be family-centric and enjoying the little things in life, it has become an opportunity to increase vanity. A society of “look what I’ve got” has taken over, causing everyone’s purses to become depleted at the end of the holiday season. This is why I have a few top tips for saving a few pennies this month. Also, presents can be expensive. Get into the habits of saving for Christmas early, so you are prepared for the month without a horrendous bill and extra money in your pocket.
Saving For Christmas
Start with buying presents as early as possible.
I started in September, and although seeming early, I had almost 30 people to buy for, causing stress and more stress. Start saving early, and it becomes so much easier. I tackled this by making a list of who I needed to buy for, alongside a rough budget for each. Sometimes, gift card may be the easiest way to stop overspending. What I love so much about buying early is that everything isn’t so Christmas focused in stores, and you can actually find great gifts without the added Christmas premium.
Save money in the run-up to Christmas.
This sounds like a given, and something that is easier said than done, trust me I know. However, I found this relatively simple – what I did was open a Christmas savings account (I made one with Tesco, which allowed me to withdraw at any time, no charge) and sent any additional shrapnel from my debit account onto this card. In turn it, it allowed me to always have a round number within my main account, and build up excess cash without it hurting too much. This method allowed me to save around £30 a week. Do that for 50 odd weeks and you end up having £1500 a month, without seeing too much harm. Saving money shouldn’t be tough after all!
This is one of the most costly parts of Christmas – Impulse buying. I cannot even count the amount of times I have thought “oh so and so would love that”, even though they already have a present wrapped and ready to go. All these really do add up, and can create very costly Christmas gifts. I find that many impulse purchases also end up being tack – clearly items that no one needs or will use. Just reducing these little purchases will truly save a lot in the long run.
Knowing Who To Skip
What also seems to add up – giving every man and a dog a Christmas card. I know this is relatively inexpensive, but I always find myself needing more than one box. Next thing you know I have got 70 odd people to give a card to, many of whom who have ran out of space for another one, or ends up alongside the plethora of cards.
Saving money could just begin with not spending so much on food. Every year I end up impulse buying food depending on what supermarkets have to offer. Next thing you know, Christmas Eve consists of choosing which 1 of 3 choices I want for dinner. The same on Christmas Day, when I always purchase an extravagant dessert, realising my mistake soon after I begin to eat and realise that is not going to happen with the bloat carried forward from Christmas Lunch. Only purchase what you can consume folks. Also, shopping around is the perfect way to bring down the cost – especially when purchasing raw ingredients and vegetables – Asda for example usually have bags of carrots for less than 20p every year.
Whatever you do, do not rely on credit cards credit and build your credit card debt. It is so easy to overspend and rely on money that is not completely in your pocket, but it will make it so much harder to manage finances comes January. Focus on using funds you have instead.
Black Friday is only a couple months before Christmas, how convenient!
- Know what you need. Whether it is gifts for others or treats for yourself – have a rough idea of what you are looking to get.
- See if the deals can be used in conjunction with other deals – for example, first-time buyer or student discount. This way you could increase your saving for Christmas.
- See if you can bulk order from the same places to save on shipping. Buying from the internet can add up if you are purchasing from many places, so look for sites where you can get multiple items.
- Not every deal is a good one. This is so true is some cases, and it is so easy to get swept up by all the discounts. The reality, however – some companies up the price before Black Friday to slash them at this time of year. So make sure that if you buy, get your money’s worth.
Skip The Unnecessary
I know stocking fillers are a great idea to get excited for Christmas, but remember the little things do not have to be expensive – thoughtful presents really do go a lot further. One year my parents put all my favourite fruit in my stocking – I mean maybe it was a hint but a nice touch nonetheless.
Instead of giving large presents to all those close to you, consider reducing the amount you give and in return give to a charity of your choice. At this time, it is needed more than ever, and Christmas is all about giving after all. This year I am going to donate to a homeless charity – at this time of year it is way too cold for anyone to be on the streets, and if I can do anything to help then it’s surely worth it.
Remember, Christmas is not about the big gestures and the fancy decorations – it is about being with the ones you love and enjoying the moment. The cost to this is minimal, so there is no reason to extend your means when happiness can be shared in many other ways. Saving for Christmas can be so much easier if you reduce your budget.
I hope this post has helped, if you have any more suggestions, please comment below! How would you approach saving for Christmas? I would recommend to start saving today!