Yes, I know, It’s not even November and we’re already talking about the C word…
But we can’t help it, it’s just so exciting!
The only downside, however, is the dreaded return of the Christmas piggybank! Nothing kills Christmas spirit more than an empty bank, right?
This is why you need to start saving now so you can go into the new year with a full heart, belly, as well as a full bank! Here’s the 6 best ways to save money for Christmas 2018!
1. Set a Budget
Generally, the number one thing you should always do when you are trying to be money- conscious is set a budget. Most people find this terrifying, but it is so much less complicated than you think!
All you have to do is write down the following expenses and work out how much you need to save up per week/ month:
Work out how many people you want to buy gifts for and how much you are willing to pay per person. (Remember that you don’t need to buy gifts for everyone. Instead, you can practise those fancy DIY skills of yours and make gifts from scratch!).
If you are anything like me, then I bet you are itching to go Christmas shopping and flood your house with endless Christmas decorations. And as I like to say, nothing says Christmas spirit more than a beautiful green Christmas tree, gold tinsel, and some fairy lights! So, make sure that you don’t forget to include these expenses into your budget.
• Food Expenses
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a Christmas dinner (with all the trimmings, of course) So, it is important to write a shopping list as early as possible as the food shop really does add up!
I would advise being as accurate as possible when factoring in how many people you need to feed, so you can avoid eating Brussel sprouts for dinner for the rest of the following week!
• Travel Expenses
If you are taking a coach, train, or even a flight back home for Christmas, then you should consider these costs when calculating your budget. Train prices can be extremely volatile during the Christmas period so travel expenses may take up a large chunk of your budget.
2. Choose Sentimentality
Receiving store-bought gifts can get tedious and repetitive. So why not switch it up this year and surprise your family and friends by using your creativity, having a little fun, and making the gifts yourself?
You might actually be surprised at how they react to receiving something that takes actual time and effort, alternatively to something that you can just buy at the store. The internet has an abundance of holiday gift ideas, so you’ll never be short of inspiration. Whether you like the idea of designing a Christmas themed scrapbook for your partner, or some DIY earrings for your mum, there is bound to be something easy and inexpensive that you can re-create for everyone!
3. Choose Cashback Credit Cards
There’s no denying that Christmas is probably the most expensive time of the year. With 30% of our yearly sales being made within the final three months of the year, says the Financial Times. So, your credit card is likely to get abused, and you may very well be left counting your pennies.
But wouldn’t it be nice if this didn’t have to be the case, and you could actually get rewarded for all that Christmas shopping?
Well, with a cashback credit card, you can!
What are Cashback Credit Cards?
Cashback credit cards can be compared to rewards cards, but where you would normally receive points, you receive tax-free cash instead.
Not only are they convenient but they are super easy to use. All you have to do is make a purchase on the card and repay the total credit you used each month to earn a certain percentage of your expenditure back. However, this does vary on the type of card you use, so make sure you do your research and compare your options online before settling on one!
Money compares some of the best cashback credit cards for you, so if you need a little help in deciding which one to go for, then it may be worth taking a look at some of their top-pick options.
4. Book your Travel in Advance
Christmas usually means that you are rushing home to see the family. So, whether you need to catch a train across the country or a flight across the other side of the world, it is important that you book it in advance.
Because tickets are so in demand during this time, prices usually sky rocket the closer you get towards the Christmas period. So, save yourself the hassle and the cash, and book your tickets now so you can get home to your family affordably!
5. Get in on Those Black Friday Bargains
Black Friday couldn’t come at a better time for those of you looking to grab some Christmas bargains! Taking place on the 23rd November, Black Friday encourages people from all over the world to flock to their local shopping malls to find the most discounted deals about.
Just a warning though, if you are planning on going, be prepared to push through masses of people and queue for hours!
Get there as early as possible to avoid the deal-induced rampage!
6. Start Buying NOW
If you think it’s too early to even mention the word ‘Christmas’, then I bet you think I’m absolutely crazy for suggesting that you try and do all of your Christmas shopping now…
And I know it may seem a little excessive, but supermarkets tend to do half price deals on food during the end of November to early December. This way, you can buy your turkey for half the price and freeze it until Christmas day.
Thank me later!
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Now that you can see how easy it is to save up for Christmas, the only thing you have to worry about is whether you have made it onto Santa’s good list this year!