Christmas is a time of year that most people look forward to, but it can be very expensive, leading to money worries for many families. With the current situation regarding the rising cost of living and the energy bill crisis, this Christmas is likely to be even more challenging as people try to afford presents and Christmas food while managing their regular bills.
A recent survey revealed that 53% of British people believed it will be a stressful Christmas this year, highlighting the extent of financial worries for families in the UK.
Forward planning and budgeting can help to reduce the stress of Christmas and save some money. The earlier you start planning for Christmas, the more opportunities you will have to save money on deals and other options for reducing how much you spend.
Here are some budgeting tips to help cut the cost of Christmas:
Write down your list of gifts
Presents can end up being the biggest outlay at Christmas, and by doing plenty of online research you should be able to find the cheapest store to buy from. When you use Google to search for a product you can select the Shopping tab which will then allow you to filter from lowest price to highest. This will enable you to find the cheapest retailer to purchase the item from.
Look for deals
There will be sales taking place around the year where you might be able to buy presents at a cheaper rate. Black Friday has some good deals for some products, but it is worth noting that 85% of products in Black Friday sales were available cheaper at other times of the year. Deal sites like Hotdeals.co.uk can sometimes find you good discounts for products.
Suggest a Secret Santa
If you have a group of friends or family members that always buy each other presents, you could suggest a Secret Santa instead of buying every person a separate gift. It can make Christmas presents a bit more fun, as well as save everybody some money.
Go for thoughtful gifts over expensive ones
Many people appreciate gifts that come from the heart, so an idea like getting a favourite photo printed on a canvas can be a more thoughtful gift idea and lots of photo printing companies have great deals. If you have a creative side, you could make something that has sentimental value for someone, so get thinking about ideas as early as possible.
Buy groceries from different supermarkets
Plan out your Christmas grocery shopping and take advantage of buying frozen food several weeks before Christmas from the cheapest place. If you are planning on buying wine, look for deals like ‘25% off when you buy 6 bottles’ that Asda often offers. Buying ‘wonky veg’ can also help you to save money on your groceries.
Many families find that having a Christmas savings account helps to cover the cost of Christmas each year. Alternatively, if you are looking for a loan this year, instead of taking out a credit card or loan with a high-interest rate, explore options such as the Central Liverpool Credit Union Christmas loan. The loan allows you to spread your repayments out and save while you borrow, so you have a sum of money saved ready for next year.
Find out more about our Christmas saver account and Christmas loan.