Christmas is pricey… but it doesn’t need to be.
With all those socials, parties and a tree that needs lots of gifts beneath it, it can be quite hard to keep to budget, so here’s 10 hacks to keep your money sack (sorry, not sorry) full this winter.
Make a list
First of all, you should make a list of all the people in your life that you’re likely to meet between now and Christmas. Once that list is made check it twice. How many of those people do you need to buy for and what level of present do they need and remember not everyone will expect a present from you. I’ve bought people presents when they weren’t expecting it and it got a little awkward. So don’t feel the need to splash out. Perhaps a bottle of plonk and a poinsettia is all you need!
Agree on a budget with your partner
Our very own Daniel Browne suggests on agreeing on a budget with your partner, “I really panicked about buying him presents. His income was much higher than mine at the time and I worried that my presents for him would be paltry compared to what he bought me. To alleviate those worries, agree on a budget. It’s good to be upfront about what’s affordable. For example, if your budget is only £10, explain that and agree to only spend £10 on each other.”
There are some incredible deals to be had on one of the many many voucher sites where you can pick up deals on spa days, theatre tickets and even home learning courses. That’s a gift that keeps on giving. But also be on the lookout for smaller retailers and their offers.
Make It Yourself
For those of you who have a little extra spare time perhaps you can give a DIY gift. For instance, this book, suggests what you can make with wooden pallets – of which thousands and thousands are thrown away every year! You can usually pick them up for free from a local business.
If you’ve got a huge family why not suggest doing Secret Santa. This will save you lots of cash, but also so much time trawling the high street looking for that must-have washing up brush for long-lost Aunt Petunia.
The year-long saving challenge
I heard an ingenious saving tip. A pound for the week number. So on the first week you save £1 the second week you save £2 and the third £3 and so on. By the end of the year, you’ll have saved up £1,378!
Spend time, not money
Daniel Brown suggests that spending time with someone is worth more than gold. He says,
“More important than the presents is the time you’re spending with each other. If you’ve found yourself a good ‘n’ he will be fine with that.”
How to save money on your night out
Office parties, social gatherings they’re all pretty pricey. So try these simple things: Have pre-drinks (have a few before you leave). Get to the club early so you don’t have to pay entry and prepare your post-boozing carb fest before you leave the house. That way you won’t be tempted to get that pricey dirty kebab on the way home.
Use your bonus / loyalty card.
Have you been shopping at Tesco or maybe Sainsbury’s all year? Well, if you’ve been collecting loyalty point you might have tonnes of money to spend. It’s not uncommon to find at the end of the year that you’ll have saved up to buy a nice gift from all those nectar points – or even the entire Christmas dinner on your loyalty card!
Buy frozen food
It’s such a simple hack, buy frozen rather than fresh. You’ll be able to use exactly the right amount and put the rest away for another meal, it’ll have a long use by date and it’s usually cheaper in the supermarket. Plus nobody will know the difference.
The editor and chief of THEGAYUK. All in a previous life wrote and produced songs on multi-platinum records.