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Top Tips for Savings This Christmas!
Posted: 24th Nov 2016
By Rory McGimpsey
The last year has flown in, hasn’t it? It doesn’t seem like twelve months since I last blogged about Christmas saving tips. And yet this time next month we’ll all be nearly ready to settle down to our turkey and mince pies. While the festive season always brings plenty of excitement and joy, there’s also the annual stress of paying for presents, food and everything else that’s demanded at this time of year. It’s a delicate balancing act: making sure you have a nice Christmas and not causing financial pain for the year ahead.
The good news is help and advice are at hand. I know I’m recycling some of these suggestions from last year (see the 2015 blog here) but they’re still relevant and can save you precious pounds this Christmas! So, here are Aperture’s top tips for Christmas 2016:
- Save early. If you haven’t already started, it’s not too late. The key to effective Christmas budgeting is to plan well ahead for the inevitable expenses that come at this time of year. Set a clear, affordable budget and try to stick to it as much as possible. By staying within a clear and realistic framework, you can avoid spending more than necessary over the Christmas period.
- Shop around and look for discounts and bargains. We all want to have the best Christmas possible, but this doesn’t mean spending a fortune. By shopping around, you can find discounts and avoid paying unnecessarily high costs. Food and drink can be particularly expensive. It’s amazing how much can be saved by cutting down on food costs and scaling back on the price of your turkey! Many supermarkets also have a great range of cheap wines these days.
- Make a list. Just like Christmases of old! This might seem like an obvious suggestion, but it’s best to have a clear list of presents you need to buy.
If you simply call in to shop without a plan – I must admit I’m often guilty of this! – the chances are you’ll spend more than you need to.
- Shop online. Many high street names have online outlet stores where you can find discounted goods and prices.
- Use eBay. The bidding website can be a great resource at Christmas in a couple of ways. If you’re short on cash, eBay can be a great way to sell goods to access a few more pounds. Also, there are definitely bargains to be had by scouring eBay for potential gifts.
- Secret Santa. This is a great way to cut down on the cost of buying presents. We’ve used it in our family for a few years now and it works really well. With Secret Santa, everyone gets a present but you only have to buy one gift. Costs are cut but no-one misses out. Plus, it adds an element of fun to proceedings!
- Use sales. It’s too late for this Christmas but the January sales are always great for getting quality goods at ridiculously discounted prices. Why not stock up in the post-Christmas sales and then keep some presents aside until next year? It’s also best to keep an eye out for any pre-Christmas sales in your locality (closing down sales etc.) as these can save considerable amounts on your Christmas shopping.
There are many more tips available, but these small hints should help get you started. Moneysavingexpert.com have a comprehensive list of tips that cover all the bases in terms of Christmas spending and saving. Here they are!
Although it’s not possible to cover every eventuality, good budgeting and early planning can help you enjoy a great Christmas and avoid starting the new year in the red. With the budget taken care of, all that’s left is to have a fun and safe Christmas!