Christmas is very nearly here and along with the festivities, come the unavoidable costs that seem to pile up.
But Christmas doesn’t have to blow your budget, especially if you follow some of our favourite Christmas cost-saving tips!
One of the easiest ways that people blow out their Christmas budgets is by putting everything on credit card, as you often don’t realise how much you are spending… that is, until you get the credit card statement in January. Luckily for you, you have worked out how much you are going to spend, so you can easily withdraw that amount of money and pay for everything in cash. Anecdotally, this helps people to keep better track of how much they are spending, plus you don’t need to worry about credit card interest in the new year! Obviously, this can be hard when shopping online where you don’t have the option to pay in cash. One way to help keep track of your online spending is to keep a list of each online transaction and put it somewhere you will see it, maybe on the fridge, near your computer, or even in your wallet, so that you will be reminded how much you have spent each time you reach for your credit card.
One of the most important things you can do in preparation for Christmas is to set yourself a budget. Firstly, make a list of all the things you will need to spend money on, this can be things like presents, food, down to a new outfit for the work Christmas party. Once you have your list, see if there is anything you can cut back on – surely you have an outfit sitting in your closet you can wear, or maybe you can reduce the amount of presents you need to buy.
Then, you need to set yourself a budget for each item on your list so you know how much you have allowed yourself to spend. It’s worth adding a little extra so that any last-minute surprise costs don’t blow out your budget. Now that you have worked out exactly how much you are happy to spend over the Christmas break– you need to stick to it!
This is a tricky one, as it is very easy to get carried away when it comes to pre-Christmas and Boxing Day sales and throw all your hard budgeting out the window! But if you are clever, you can take advantage of sales to help save money this Christmas. If you have a Christmas present list, work out a couple of places you can buy each gift from and where possible sign up for mailing lists for those stores so you can be notified of any sales. Saving things to a website’s wish list will often trigger notifications for when things go on sale as well. You can also take advantage of apps that do this for you – check out Shoptagr, an app or Shopstyle, a website that allows you to save items to a wish list, from which you will then receive a notification to let you know when the items go on sale! It’s important that you don’t get caught up in the sale excitement, but if you stick to your shopping list, then you will come out on top!
One of the biggest costs that come with Christmas is Christmas presents, often people get caught up in the excitement of the season and go overboard with presents, especially when it comes to our families. You have hopefully started to save money on your present list with the above tips, but we can take it a step further! People often overspend on Christmas presents when they don’t want to look like a scrooge, especially if you give a sensible present to a loved one and receive an extravagant one in exchange! The simplest way to remedy this is to set a present budget. While it might not sound very jolly, it will help everyone to save money and will help to make things easier when buying presents.
You could go even further and decide as within your family or friends group to do a Secret Santa instead of buying everyone presents, which can turn into a fun Christmas tradition, especially if you play Bad Santa, where you can steal/swap presents with other people in the group. One of the most important things to remember this Christmas though, is that often it doesn’t matter how much money you spend or how many presents you give or receive, Christmas is about spending quality time with friends and family.
However you are planning to celebrate this year, the team at BlueBay Home Loans would like to wish you a very happy and safe festive season!