Saving for Christmas

The festive season will be here before you know it. So, have you started saving for Christmas? Get going with our saving tips.

The festive season will be here before you know it. So, have you started saving for Christmas? Get going with our saving tips.

Anelda Knoesen
From the Money team
4
minute read
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Posted 5 NOVEMBER 2021

Getting ready for a great festive season

There’s no denying that the festive season can be expensive: the average household spends hundreds of pounds extra in December. For many families still experiencing the fallout from the pandemic, it might feel like too much of a stretch this year. But good planning can help you minimise the strain on your wallet and enjoy the holiday free from stress.

Here are our top saving tips to keep you jolly throughout the Christmas season.

Ask your family and friends how they want to gift this year

There’s no point in buying people things they don’t want that put a big hole in your finances, especially if money is tight. Try to have some honest conversations with your nearest and dearest about what you can all afford. You might all decide to put a price limit on gifts or that a family secret Santa will be just as much fun as buying presents for everyone.

Set a budget… and stick to it

It’s easy to lose sight of your spending when you’re trying to spoil your loved ones. Setting a clear budget (and not going over it) is the only way to make sure you only spend what you can afford. Work out how much you can realistically set aside from your monthly budget for Christmas savings and take Christmas food and drink, as well as presents, into account when working out how much you want to save.

Decide where to put your Christmas savings

Putting your Christmas money in a separate pot means you won’t be tempted to spend it on other things. A separate Christmas-fund account with your bank or building society might be a good option – and you could even earn a little interest on your savings. Christmas savings clubs are also available, but they don’t offer interest and you won’t be protected if the scheme goes bust. Plus, Christmas clubs tend to give you your money back in the form of vouchers or you have to choose your gifts from a catalogue. A Christmas savings account will give you the freedom to spend your savings on what you want.

Save regularly

Committing to putting aside a regular amount – even if it’s not very much – will help you stick to your savings plan. And think ahead to next year: if you open a 12-month regular savings account in December, you could have a tidy sum to spend when Christmas rolls around again.

Plan your gifts

Around the holiday season, stores are in competition with each other to give the best deals. So if you know what you’re looking for, you’ll be ready to jump when you find the best offer. Think Black Friday – if you can get your gifts planned before 26 November, there are bargains to be had.

Spread the costs

Christmas can seem like a huge strain on your bank account. But if you leave all your spending to December, finding the money feels a whole lot harder.

Spreading your shopping across the months leading up to Christmas will help to soften the blow, so you’ll feel in a better position to treat yourself to those festive drinks.

See if you can make some extra cash

Have a good clear-out at home and see if there’s anything that you could sell on eBay or other auction sites. In the months leading up to Christmas, people will be searching for gifts, so make sure you list your unwanted items ahead of time.

Think homemade gifts

Done well, homemade gifts are something thoughtful and unique that your family and friends will remember long past Christmas Day.

Don’t leave homemade presents to the last minute. Remember that gifts like handmade candles, jams or infused gins could take more than a weekend to make.

Cast your net wide

It’s not only the big online retailers and high street stores that have the bargains. Christmas markets, local gift shops and marketplace sites like eBay and Etsy can be great sources of unusual and inexpensive gifts.

Go digital

The cost of stamps and Christmas cards soon adds up, so try sending e-cards this year. You can personalise your greetings by using a website that allows you to create cards with family photos. To keep track of your Christmas spending, download a savings or budgeting app. Alternatively, set up a spreadsheet or keep a present book. Keep a close eye to make sure you don’t double up on gifts.

Don’t leave it to the last minute!

It can be tempting to leave all the shopping to the last weekend, but this could actually result in you spending more instead of less.

Hitting the last-minute rush leaves you at the mercy of stores looking for a last chance to boost their Christmas profits. Plus, all that money going out at once could leave you feeling less like celebrating New Year.

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