Tips for saving money at Christmas
It’s that time of year again! We’d all like to cut down on the costs of the festive season. Here are some simple money saving tips for Christmas from Trust Deed Scotland that you can apply this Christmas and the Christmases to come to make things more affordable.
1. Only spend what you can afford.
This may seem obvious but the highest amount of debt per person tends to be accrued during the festive period. Avoid building credit card debt and instead budget for what you can afford. If you get your presents in gradually, over time, you won’t leave yourself short for the month and reliant on credit cards. You may think you’re saving yourself stress by putting it on plastic but remember any good deals you’ve got on your gifts will actually cost you much more in the long run, once you’ve paid them all off, with interest.
2. Use points and vouchers you’ve saved in shops to buy presents/Christmas dinner.
Do you have numerous points cards cluttering up your purse or wallet that you always forget to use? Now is the time to cash in those points for presents or Christmas dinner. You may be surprised how many you’ve saved up.
3. Look out unused wrapping paper, cards and tags.
Like most people, the chances are you have unused wrapping paper, tags, bows, ribbons, gift bags and cards lurking around forgotten in your home. Get them down from the loft or out of the cupboard and use them before you buy more this year. Going forward, keep a box of unused Christmas accessories that you can pull out from year to year. Although you may worry about using the same paper as last year, the chances are no one but you will know and not only will you be saving your pennies, you’ll be doing your bit for the environment too.
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4. Save money by packaging your own gifts.
Instead of buying expensively boxed gifts, get a selection of presents and buy gift boxes or tins to put them in. Boxes range in size from ring/pill sized to hamper-sized and above and if you shop around you can find something suitable for a very reasonable price. Smarten it up by adding some tissue paper or confetti and a ribbon and bow and it will look as though it was shop bought.
5. Take advantage of offers for free delivery or click and collect.
Although one company may be selling an item for less than another, you may find that once you add on postage costs, you will actually pay more. Always check postage prices and take advantage of discounts, free delivery or opt to have items delivered into stores using click and collect as most companies who offer this service do so free of charge.
6. Shop around and use price comparisons, the chances are you’ll find the same product several different places for different prices.
Although you may use the same high street store each year for gifts, shop around before making your purchases. Do price comparisons online as you may be able to find the same product on special offer or retailing at a lower price elsewhere.
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7. If you won’t be seeing the recipient of a present until after Christmas, shop for their gift in the Boxing Day or January sales.
Many shops have massive sales in store and online with savings exceeding 75% and more on some items. You may also want to buy your next years presents in the sales to save money and reduce stress when it gets round to next Christmas.
8. Get inventive! Make your own gifts and cards.
If you like arts and crafts or bakery, now is the time to put your hobby to good use. Many presents can be homemade from soft toys, cushions and quilts to jumpers, ornaments, calendars, cakes and more! Get the kids involved too; they may love making the Christmas cards and tags and your family and friends will love the personal touch.
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9. Give unwanted gifts you’ve received at birthdays and Christmases.
Rule number one: Be careful not to give it to the same person who gave it to you! This is a great way to save money and get unwanted gifts to owners who will appreciate and use them. Perhaps you received some perfume that makes you sneeze or a shirt that doesn’t fit you? Another option is to sell unwanted gifts online and use the proceeds to go towards your Christmas purchases.
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10. Use draught excluders to cut down on energy bills.
This winter is rumoured to be the coldest we’ve had in the UK for a while. Keep the heat in and avoid sky high energy bills by using draft excluders and making sure your doors and windows are properly sealed against wind and rain.
We hope these money saving tips for Christmas will help you cut your costs. If you do have any debts and would like help getting your finances back on track, contact us for free, professional advice.