During what is already proving to be a challenging time for many, the added financial strain of Christmas is likely to put an extra dent in bank accounts this Winter. Deal.Town experts have shared twelve cost saving tips for cutting down on spending this festive season.
Try DIY Decorations
Buying new decorations every year can add up and take its toll on your bank account. Researching YouTube videos and craft blogs in order to make your own is a great way to help you save, and will add a unique and sentimental touch to your Christmas décor. I love collecting pine cones in the garden and spray painting them festive colours.
Reduce Spending on Non- Essential Items
Whilst the Christmas season is for enjoying yourself, look at how you can try to cut back or find cheaper ways for non-essential spending this year. For example, many UK towns and cities will be organising free Christmas fairs, events and carol services to soak up the festive spirit.
Alternatively, instead of spending a large amount on Christmas meals out, why not stay in and host your own festive ‘potluck’ dinner party, where every guest brings their own dish to share amongst the gathering.
Set A Realistic Budget
Assess your finances to create a financial budget with all of the costs you need to cover for Christmas. This should include food, presents, travel, and decorations to help you manage your spending and find ways to save money. Remember to also take into consideration any events you’ll either be hosting or contributing to, as well as special Christmas days out like ice skating, visiting a pantomime, or taking a trip to a Christmas market.
Prioritise your Christmas spending
Prioritise your spending into essential and non-essential costs, and work out what you can afford and what might need cutting from this year’s budget. Do you really need to spend money on those expensive Christmas day canapes from the supermarket? Or will more affordable bowls of nuts, crisps and crudites keep your guests happy until the turkey and trimmings are ready to feast on?
Buy your items in bulk
If you have storage, visiting local wholesale stores can help you save money, and will ultimately reduce repeated trips to the supermarket that will tempt you into buying things you don’t need. Try to stock up on multipacks and larger items to help you save money over the busy Christmas period and keep you going all the way through to January pay day.
Set a limit on your gifts
Organising a ‘secret Santa style’ gift limit per person can help you save money, particularly if you are part of a large family or friendship group. Make a list of all the people you’d like to buy presents for, then set yourself an overall budget to avoid overspending.
Opt for loyalty schemes at the supermarket
During the festive season, UK supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Iceland and Asda offer Christmas saving schemes, with many providing cash back as an incentive for you to sign up.
Therefore, opting in and building points now can help you save money on your shopping following the Christmas period in the often financially tight month of January.
Budget with cash weekly
Setting yourself a monetary budget at the start of every week throughout the festive period and into the New Year that you can stick to is a good way of keeping within your limits.
Of course, some weeks may be more expensive than others, but factoring in any expected outgoings allows you to track the unexpected ones.
To do so, you can use the envelope budgeting system, which helps control spending each month by allocating a limited amount of money per envelope. Each envelope can be categorised by bills, rent, leisure, food, fashion and beauty etc.
Use energy-efficient lights
LED Christmas lights are much more effective as they tend to use 90% less energy than standard ones – which could help you save by cutting down your energy bill.
Set your Christmas lights on a timer
Christmas lights sometimes come with automatic timers, which makes it easier to manage when they are switched on and save energy in the process. Therefore try to only put them on when you need to use them, rather than all day for the sake of it.
Avoid leaving outdoor lights on overnight
Try to avoid leaving outdoor lights on overnight and switch them off at a certain time each evening. This will significantly reduce how much energy you use and help you cut costs.
Sell any unwanted items
Selling any unused or unwanted items on the likes of Facebook Marketplace, Vinted, or Depop could help you make some extra cash to put towards the festive season – (if anyone needs a guinea pig cage let me know!). Some retailers will even buy items back or offer vouchers.