Christmas is one of the holidays that can wreak havoc on your financial situation. Unless you’re one of the wealthy people on this planet with no money worries at all, we all have to deal with the same challenges when it comes to not over-spending and instead saving money on holidays like this.
Year after year we try to do our best to buy everything we want without hurting our financial situation.
This year you can do things differently. You can have all your Christmas shopping done before you max out your credit card, saving money as you go!
This 10 step guide could help you cope with your Christmas shopping much better.
- Be a smart online shopper
You should make coupon codes websites your best friends. Find them and bookmark them, as they are going to serve you well when the time comes to make a purchase. Don’t forget to check out www.moneysavingexpert.co.uk before buying anything online.
Savvy shoppers use price comparison websites to find the best deals. You should do that too, so don’t forget to bookmark Quidco, Kelcoo, mysupermarket.co.uk and Pricerunner, as they can help you save a lot of money. Quidco is my favourite of these sites, over the years I have received nearly £2,000 in cash back!
- Put together a list and stick to it
By putting together a list you can have a better picture of what kind of expenditure you should expect. As you buy the items on the list, cut them off or strike them out, so that you don’t end up by getting duplicates. There’s plenty of scope for Christmas present spreads if you’re a Bullet Journaller, just make sure no one takes a sneak peek!
- Craft your own gifts whenever possible
Handmade stuff can make the best gift, so make your own cards, decorations or gifts whenever you can. I’ve bought some great plain & glitter cards that I am going to customise with some fancy Washi tape and ink stamps.
- Bake your own party foods
Party packs are expensive. You can try to bake your own cookies instead, as this is a chance to save a lot of money. Besides, nothing tastes better than home baked goodies! That said, you might want to leave this till the last minute otherwise you run the risk of eating them all before your guests arrive!
- Pay for your purchases with cashback credit cards
Both American Express and Capital One offer cashback credit cards. When you use them, you get a part of your money back into your account. Nonetheless, you have to be careful to clear your balance in due time, in order to avoid paying interest.
- Consider factory outlets and discount stores
Big brands are awesome, but their prices are prohibitive unless you try to get them from factory outlets or discount stores. Here are a few options to grab some Christmas bargains: TK Maxx, Bicester Village Outlet Shopping, the McArthur Glen outlets and the Bicester Village Outlet Shopping. Here you can find some of the best brands of the world such as Donna Karan, Molton Brown, Karen Miller and Jigsaw.
If you are going to TK Maxx then it’s worth checking out different branches if you have more than one nearby, they often carry different stock and you wouldn’t want to miss out on a bargain!
- Trade your stuff for cash on eBay or Nearly New Boards
Boards and sites such as the Netmums Nearly New board are a great place to advertise your unwanted things. Lots of mums buy and sell on this board, so you might be able to find some amazing gifts or sell some of your items for cash. Alternatively consider “re-gifting” some of your existing, unwanted items.
- Use your loyalty points
If you’ve been consistent in using your loyalty card throughout the year, now it’s time to cash in the rewards. Check out their special offers before paying for them in cash. This really is the time of year to double-up your Nectar points and make the most of the offers on at Boots!
- Don’t overdo it
Always remember January is just around the corner and budget tightly! Don’t spend more than you can afford, and if you aren’t seeing someone until the New Year it might be worth holding off from buying their present until the sales!!
- Do A Secret Santa
This is a great way to save too, at work we always do a Secret Santa, and last year I was very frugal and I ordered lots free samples from online free stuff website, filled up a small box and wrapped them up! It was a great Secret Santa parcel that was loved by my colleague and certainly exceeded the value of our allocated budget!