As fun and festive as Christmas is, it’s also a famously expensive time of year. It can seem like there’s no way to escape the festive season without spending a fortune, but we’ve got some tips on how you can save money and still have a fantastic time.
It’s the thought that counts
Young children love presents, but it’s worth remembering that they don’t base their opinion on how much they cost. The temptation to buy expensive toys to please them is understandable, but they’ll be just as happy with inexpensive toys. It’s the novelty that really counts.
Set a budget
Writing out a budget may not seem like the most Christmassy of activities, but you can figure all the things you need to make your ideal day. Write down all the presents you need to buy, as well as decorations, food and drink, and anything else you can think of. This will make it easier to see where you can make more affordable choices if you need to, or save some money on extravagant purchases.
Not to immediately sound like a scrooge, but limiting the number of people you buy presents for outside of immediate family can make a huge difference. While it’s always nice to be generous, giving a gift can create a cycle that ends up getting expensive for everyone involved. It can take a bit of bravery, but make a pact with friends to not buy presents for each other. You could arrange to all go out for a meal out instead, or do a secret Santa with £5 spend limit.
Be frugal with food
At Christmas it’s tempting to head to the poshest supermarket to buy your supplies, but this can just land you with a bigger bill rather than better food. Go for what tastes the best, not for what has the fanciest packaging. If you really enjoy the feeling of splurging on something a bit special at Christmas, just pick one or two specific things like a box of chocolates or a Christmas pudding.
When tracking down those expensive gifts like perfume or electronics, spend a bit of time searching online for the cheapest price. It can be tempting to pick things up in the shops when you see them, but you can easily end up spending more than you need. Buying well in advance can help to keep costs down too, though these days many retailers hold sales over Christmas to get people into the shops. You could use an online price tracker to help you find the cheapest price in the run-up to Christmas.