How to save money at Christmas

Christmas is possibly the best time of the year. But did you know over 5 million people in Britain admit that they suffer from money worries and stress in the run up to the festive period?  UK Car Finance have compiled a list of easy ways you can save money this Christmas.

Christmas piggy bank next to a shopping cart full of gift boxes

Set a budget

This is probably the FIRST thing you should do when planning for Christmas. It’s the easiest way to save money and know exactly how much you need to spend. Work out how much you will be spending on everything – whether it’s money for going out, buying gifts, food shopping or posting your Christmas cards, it all adds up! From there, it’s easy to prioritise your spending and get rid of anything that is a want and not a need. We’ll come back to this further down…

Buy online

One of the easiest and cheapest ways to buy your gifts and Christmas essentials is online shopping. Get all your shopping sorted in the comfort of your own home – what’s not to love? You’re also usually tempted to spend more when walking round the shops due to impulse buys. Many online retailers have discount codes and money off in the run up to Christmas. It also tends to be cheaper to shop directly on a brands website rather than going through a department store.

Cashback credit cards

We all know one of the worst things to do at Christmas is to get yourself into debt and spend the following months playing catch up! One thing worth mentioning here is your credit score, applying for any type of credit may harm your credit score and if you have bad credit, you’re more likely to get declined for any sort of loan! If you know you will be able to clear the balance once December is out of the way, a cashback credit card is great for you! Simply put, it does what it says on the tin, a cashback credit card allows you to get cashback on your spending.

Use your loyalty cards

Do you save up money on your loyalty cards all year round? Christmas is the best time to use them if you want to save a little money! Some of the best loyalty cards include Boots Advantage Card, Sainsbury’s Nectar Card and Tesco Loyalty Card.

Stop unnecessary gifting

Ah, the gift of giving, one of the best things about the Christmas period. But do you really need to buy your neighbour’s sister’s dog a Christmas present? Some presents just waste money! Why not agree with extended family or colleagues to not do give presents this year? You don’t need to be spending more than you need to, especially if you’re trying to save money!

Prioritise presents

In addition to unnecessary gifts, make sure you prioritise what you spend your money on. You’re never going to be able to do absolutely everything on a budget but you can make sure you get everything that is important to you. Don’t splash out on little things like table decorations when you could save money or spend more money on your actual Christmas dinner!

Sell your old stuff

Got any gifts from last year you don’t use or any clothes you don’t wear anymore? Selling your stuff before Christmas is a great way to make money! Nowadays, there’s loads of ways you can sell you stuff! Facebook Marketplace, eBay, DePop and Etsy (to name a few) are becoming increasingly popular when looking to sell everything from clothes to cars!

Cashback sites

As mentioned previously, cashback is so popular in 2018! It’s not just a tip for Christmas, it’s actually really beneficial all year round. You could be making £100s a year using cashback website, if you use them properly. Some of the biggest websites include Quidco and TopCashback, which work with thousands of top brands to help you get cashback both online and also instore!

Don’t over buy your food

Christmas is the time to eat drink and be merry. But do you spend too much on food and drink? Only buy what you actually need! If you find yourself trying to force down dry turkey by New Year’s Day, you’ve probably went a little over the top! Make a list of the food and drink you actually need and don’t over compensate, you could find you save a lot more this year! Also remember that if you don’t get everything you need, some shops are open on Christmas Day and bank holidays so don’t stock up too much.

DIY it

As each year goes by, Christmas is becoming a retail holiday but that’s not what it was originally made for! Have you thought you could save money by making your own cards, gifts or decorations? Homemade presents or decorations can cost you next to nothing! It’s also a great idea if you have children and is a fun activity to get them involved! You could create anything from homemade jewellery, gift sets, photo albums or even an old school personalised mix tape!

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Alison

Finance Blogger at Payday Jester
I have a passion for all things finance and business so if I can help you in anyway then please get in touch and if you have any comments or feedback please leave a message.