We typically splurge £452 on Christmas including food, alcohol, presents, travel, wrapping paper and decorations, says Halifax research. To avoid a New Year bill shock, it’s worth starting now to spread the cost over the coming weeks. Here’s what to do!
1. Make a budget
Not just for presents but for wrapping paper, the Christmas tree, food, drinks and entertainment. If you set aside a certain amount for each thing you are much more likely to stick to your budget and not overspend.
Before heading out to buy more wrapping paper or cards have a dig around in the back of the cupboard. You might find left overs from the year before that you’ve forgotten about.
3. Get creative
If you’re an artistic type, have a go at making some Christmas cards, presents and tree decorations yourself. There are some great You Tube videos to help inspire you and you can make it a fun activity to do with the kids on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
4. Fill the cupboards early
If you spot a bargain that will last or can go in the freezer, grab it early. This helps to spread the cost over a few months.
5. Don’t fall for branding
Just because something is Christmas branded or a household name you recognise, it doesn’t mean it’s better. Going for supermarkets own goods and bargain stores will save you a ton.
6. Cash in on your loyalty
Use points you’ve collected from schemes like Tesco Clubcard and Nectar to take money off your shopping. Check your wallet for other loyalty schemes you might have signed up to throughout the year and put them to use.
7. Dine in
If in the past you’ve tended to go big for Christmas and go out lots with your friends, save some money by having a dinner party at yours. Everyone brings a dish and a bottle and you’ll have a great Christmas do without the bill.
8. Book travel now
Everything from train tickets to coaches can be cheaper when you book in advance. When booking trains look at ticket splitters to see if it’s cheaper to split your journey up. Pre-book taxis to and from Christmas parties and make sure you agree a price in advance.
9. Spend smart
If you know you won’t be able to afford everything up front use a 0% credit card to spread the cost out interest free. Be strict with yourself and make sure you pay it all back before the interest kicks in. If you know you’ll be able to pay off your bill in full at the end of the month use a cashback card instead, which will mean you’ll get cash for spending money at Christmas – win win!
10. Clear out
- Thanks to money.co.uk