When it comes to Christmas, I like to plan our family finances well in advance. There’s plenty to consider; the big Christmas food shop, the drinks, the family days out to see Father Christmas and of course, buying cards and presents for loved ones. It can all add up so it’s no wonder that this year, 42% of us are feeling the pinch this Christmas and are trying to cut back.
A recent survey commissioned by online voucher codes website, My Voucher Codes discovered that 42% of people asked were trying to save money this Christmas by cutting back, shopping in the sales and buying less gifts. The results from the survey are really interesting and mirror stories that I have heard from family and friends about their own spending intentions this year.
I have heard from friends that they are concerned about how they will pay for Christmas with the uncertainty of job security, the impact of Brexit and the weak pound pushing prices up. The survey results indicated that 30% will put Christmas on a credit card and worry about it later, 10% will use their overdraft and 3% will borrow from family and friends. Having used credit in the past for buying Christmas gifts, I can certainly sympathise with their current situation.
Ways to save money this Christmas
This year I feel like my early organisation has helped me to stay within budget. Just before the Summer, I roughly estimated how much money I would need for gifts, days out and the Christmas food/drink and budgeted for it. I saved a certain amount of our salaries each month and used some of the following techniques to ensure we could still enjoy Christmas on our budget.
- Shop in the sales – I started buying a lot of my Christmas presents in the online sales in August. I always tried to find stores that provided free delivery with orders so I could save on postage costs. Buying gifts in the sale can save you a small fortune, you just need to be able to stash them somewhere at home.
- Use vouchers and discount codes – If you’re shopping online there’s lots of deals to be had, you just need to invest in the time to find them and apply them to your basket.
- Make a charitable donation instead of sending Christmas cards – this year we have received a lot less Christmas cards than previous years and I’m assured it’s because friends and family are making donations to good causes rather than buying stamps to send cards. With a second class stamp costing 55p, the cost to send even a handful of cards can be expensive.
- Save up loyalty points and bonus vouchers – most supermarkets offer loyalty cards and points for shopping with them regularly and saving these points up to use at Christmas could be well worth doing. We have saved up our Nectar points all year and will be able to do our Christmas food shop using our points balance saving us some money.
How have you found the Christmas budget this year? Have you had to make savings? What techniques do you use to stay within budget? I’d love to hear your tips and tricks for saving money this year.