How To Spend Less Money This Christmas And Avoid Debt
With the run up to Christmas just around the corner, it is no secret that this really is the most expensive time of the year. With everything that you have to think about organising, it is so easy to become stressed, overwhelmed and most of all, poor! However, it doesn’t have to be this way. With some planning and organisation, you can eliminate all of the stress that comes with Christmas and make the most of the magic this year. You don’t have to spend a fortune this Christmas and get yourself into debt.
Keep reading to find out my tips on how to spend less and save money this holiday season.
1. Make a list of who you are going to buy presents for
Some people only buy presents for their closest family and friends, although others buy for every Tom, Dick and Harry. Everyone from their co-workers to their hairdresser is on the list! Decide who you are comfortable with. You don’t need to buy for every member of your family and all your friends. Agree to buy your closest family presents and it will save you lots of time, money and stress.
Make a list of gift interests for each person on your list. You may have a rough idea of what each person would like or possibly they have mentioned something they have their eye on. Once you have a few ideas, you can narrow the list down or be on the look out while you’re shopping for gifts that fit this criteria.
2. Set yourself a budget
The cost of Christmas presents should be accounted for in your annual budget. This prevents you from the stress of trying to find the extra money to pay for them in November or December. This is what many people who land themselves in debt do not do, therefore they usually resort to turning to credit cards or bank overdrafts.
Keep a general idea of how much you would like to spend on each area of Christmas. This includes decorations, food and presents. Set a limit and stick to it. You could even challenge yourself and try to spend under the limit, although don’t make it easy for yourself because that’s cheating! Check out the Money Advice Service’s Christmas Money Planner tool here.
3. Decide what you’re going to have for your Christmas meal
By planning out your Christmas meal well in advance, it means you can save lots of time and money. Begin by writing out a list of ingredients that you will require for the big day. Then, highlight all of the foods that can be bought early. This includes items that are on sale and can be frozen or non-perishable items. Food that can be bought early includes canned foods, long life foods and dry foods. You can start buying these items in November. These include:
- Nuts and Nibbles
- Crisps, pretzels and crackers
- Frozen foods, including frozen desserts
- Ice cream
- Christmas cake, puddings and mince pies
You can also use price comparison websites to save money on your food. These tell you which supermarket you can buy the cheapest items from and you can also order your full food shop with them to avoid the huge Christmas queues!
Additionally, you can start making storage space for your Christmas goodies in the run up to the 25th. Make sure to clear out any unwanted or out of date items from your freezer and cupboards in order to make room for everything you are going to purchase. Remember not to buy food that won’t get eaten!
4. Search for the cheapest deals
Black Friday is on the 29th November this year, and it is one of the biggest shopping events in the UK calendar. It is regarded as the first day of the Christmas shopping season, and many stores offer lots of deals on their products. It is the perfect opportunity to get Christmas presents at a discounted price. However if the idea of Black Friday scares you, you can also consider Cyber Monday which is the following Monday after Black Friday.
5. Use your store loyalty points
Most of us already collect loyalty points, although have you ever thought of saving up these points throughout the year to spend at Christmas? This will save you a small fortune and have a significant impact on your budget. You can use these for anything from saving on your Christmas food to saving on your Christmas presents.
So there you have it, 5 simple ways to spend less this Christmas and avoid getting into debt. Tweet me your best tips @britonabudget1