With November just around the corner, whether you like it or not, it’s time to start thinking about Christmas 2020. Christmas can often be a time for stress and worry, particularly if you struggle to find any spare money to save towards the season.
There’s no better time to start saving than now, and let’s face it, it will definitely help you to avoid having a January ‘money hangover’ if you take the time to plan your Christmas budget in advance.
Work out how much money you need to save
My top tip for saving money this Christmas is to make a list of everything that you need to buy and calculate how much you need to buy it all. I write down everything that I need to purchase from presents to decorations to food and then I set myself a budget for each category.
Once I’ve set my budget, I then have a total amount in mind that I need to save in order to pay for Christmas.
Pigly have a great savings goal calculator here, where you can calculate how much money you’ll need to put into your savings account every month in order to achieve your overall goal. I find savings calculators very useful as they keep me motivated, however you should make sure that the goal you set yourself is realistic based on your income and the amount of spare money you have left over after expenses that is available to save.
Start buying gifts early
The earlier you start to plan and buy gifts, the easier you will make it for yourself in the months leading up to Christmas. You could even browse the January sales and pick up a few items for the following Christmas.
We can sometimes tend to panic buy presents, and this may lead you up to spend more money than you can afford, which ultimately may end up with you having to borrow money on a credit card.
I like to plan what I’m going to buy every person on my list by writing down ideas as they pop into my head or saving a note on my phone so I can refer back to it later. It also helps to remember anything that the person mentions they might need or want and make a note of it.
Shop around for the best deals
If there is something in particular you are looking to buy for Christmas, such as a TV or games console, make sure you shop around for the best deals to save money where you can. You can use price comparison websites to tell you where the cheapest place to buy it is.
You can take advantage of Black Friday deals to get the most out of your money, and there are even comparison websites to show you whether a product’s price is on an upwards or a downwards trend to help you decide whether you should wait a couple of weeks before splashing your cash.
Use cashback websites
If you are planning on buying any presents online, it is definitely worth using cashback sites to save some pennies and pounds where you can.
If you haven’t heard of them before, cashback sites receive a commission from the merchant for directing you to their website, and once you make a purchase the cashback site will give a portion of this money back to you as a thank you for clicking their link. They can sometimes even give you up to 105% of what the retailers pay them.
It’s basically free money for doing something you would already be doing, and it can help you to save money on your Christmas purchases!
Use your loyalty points
Another good way of saving money is to use your supermarket loyalty points if you collect them, and if you are not part of any loyalty schemes at the moment, consider joining some with your favourite shops in order to save for Christmas next year.
I often use the loyalty points I have saved with my Boots Advantage card to buy Christmas presents in the sales, as my points can build up quite quickly just from my every day purchases such as my shampoo and conditioner.
Try Secret Santa
This Christmas savings tip is a favourite in our family, and it can help you to save so much money on gifts! The fabulous thing about Secret Santa is that you can use it for friends, family and colleagues.
If you haven’t heard of Secret Santa before, you put names into a hat and every person in the group pulls out a name from the hat. Whoever you pull out from the hat is the person who you will buy a Christmas gift for, and you only need to buy a present for that person. It avoids you having to spend a fortune on presents and having to mull over ideas for every single person in your group.
There is usually a set budget for gifts, so no one is left bankrupt and everyone ends up with a lovely present!
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