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Christmas. It’s a wonderful time of year, and whilst it’s super exciting, especially if you have children, it can also be a stressful time of year, especially if you are struggling with what to buy and it’s even harder if you are on a tight budget, which if we are honest, lots of us are, so we all need to save money wherever possible.
I wanted to share a few things that I’ve learnt over the years that help me save money at Christmastime.
- Write a list and stick to it – Think long and hard about what you want to buy and don’t be tempted to start shopping before you’ve decided. This way you’ll know exactly what you need to get and you won’t find yourself buying things just so you have something to give at Christmas. You’d be surprised just how easy it is to save money without trying by doing this.
- Set a budget and don’t go over it – Look at your finances and decide what you can afford to spend on each person. Don’t buy things that you can’t afford. If you think you would benefit from a bit of extra cash, then short-term loans from places like Cash Lady can be a quick problem fixer, but you should only use them if you can afford to repay them in full or at least over a short period of time. No one needs a big debt after Christmas. Be sensible.
- Price compare and shop online – I always do this, without fail. I do all of my shopping online and make sure that I’m buying it for the cheapest price possible, including postage. This is much harder to do in the shops when you are traipsing around, laden with heavy bags. I much prefer sitting down in the warm and doing my shopping. This year I did all of my Christmas shopping in half an hour, on my phone!
- Scour the internet for discount codes – You’ll be reminded to do this when you get to the checkout and see the ‘promo code’ box. Simply Google the name of the shop followed by ‘discount code’ and you will see different sites that offer a code if there are any available. It’s worth spending an extra few minutes doing this if it’s going to help you save money in the long run.
- Amazon Prime – Amazon offers a one-month free trial of Amazon Prime. If you haven’t already used the one you’re entitled to, sign up before you start your Christmas shopping and take advantage of all of the quick, free postage. Just remember to cancel the membership before it expires or you’ll be charged the full yearly payment. Pop a reminder in your diary or phone to cancel it before the expiry date.
- Groupon – I use Groupon every year, without fail. It started when Little Man was a baby and I made personalised calendars for his grandparents, Aunts and Uncles and it’s become a bit of a tradition each year. This year is a great example. I paid £15 to Groupon for a voucher for five A4 calendars. When I designed them and placed the order the total came to over £100. It was great to see the price drop to just £4.99 postage when I put the code in. What a bargain!
So those are the top tips I live and breathe by each Christmas. I hardly ever go over budget and it leaves me with money in the bank for that long January that lies ahead!
I’m sure you have some tips, I’d love to hear them. Let me know in the comments and tell us how you save money at Christmastime.