Christmas is meant to be a joyful time, full of festive fun. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it also needs to be full of festive frivolousness. Read on, for our tips on how to save some cash between now and the big day, and avoid a financial hangover in 2017:
1. Do they really need a present from you?
If you were honest, how many of your intended gift recipients really need or want that present from you? You know what I’m talking about. You’ve been buying your Great Aunt Edna a box of ‘smellies’ since you were young. In return, she’s always given you a nice selection box. But now you’re an adult, does this unnecessary gift exchange really need to happen? She’s probably got years’ worth of old smellies stuffed in her drawer that she’s never used.
Let’s be honest, you never liked Finger Of Fudge much anyway (who does?). Why not just have an honest conversation in the weeks leading up to Christmas? Tell Great Aunt Edna that you’re cutting back this year and lets just exchange pleasantries and warm wishes instead of unwanted gifts. You’ll probably find Great Aunt Edna was finding it a chore getting all those selection boxes anyway and is relieved at your polite suggestion.
2. Christmas doesn’t need to be ‘cordon bleu’
Guess what? Your Christmas turkey doesn’t need to be organic, free range or reared in an eco-retreat where it’s fed only on foraged berries. While all that may be very nice; if you can’t afford it then a nice plump frozen bird from your local supermarket is perfectly acceptable.
Some may question the quality of these bargain basement birds, but there’s plenty of online reviews and taste tests you can refer to before deciding where to buy. Plus, most supermarkets advertise their turkeys are raised in ethical conditions. Don’t let this weigh on your mind.
It’s not just turkeys that you can save on. It’s always worth trying supermarket own band versions of your favourite festive fayre. Chocolates and biscuits are particularly cheaper when buying supermarket brands.
3. Raise some extra Christmas cash by selling some of the tat building up in your garage/shed/toy cupboard
We’re all guilty of it. We keep stuff we just don’t need ‘because it might come in handy one day’. It then gathers dust for a couple of years (or more) before meeting a sad end at the local tip. However, just because you don’t need it, doesn’t mean someone else won’t want it. Sites like Gumtree and EBay are fantastic ways to sell off your unwanted items.
Go and have a quick look in your garage – do you really need that rowing machine you haven’t used for three years? Does your son really need that bike he outgrew last year? Or those expensive Astroturf trainers he only wore three times? You’d be surprised at how much you can raise by selling stuff that seemed useless to you.
4. Kids aren’t retail snobs
(Most) Young children don’t judge or value the gift you bought them based on how much you spent on it! Your child will have no idea that the wooden train set you’ve bought them was a budget version from the supermarket and not the massively expensive version that would have cost more. Or the doll’s house they just unwrapped was used to be yours and your mum kept in her loft and has been freshly re-decorated ready for the next generation to enjoy.
They’ll probably love it even more. And let’s face it, young children often enjoy the wrapping paper and empty boxes more than the presents themselves.
5. Earn cashback on your Christmas shopping
Sign up for free to cashback sites. Use them to click through to online retailers when you are making purchases. Some people make £100s a year from shopping in this way. Even if you’re new to the cashback game, if you start now, by Christmas 2017 you might have earned a sizeable chunk to help you out.
Is there anything we’ve missed? Let us know your Christmas money saving tips by commenting below.