7 tips for winning at Christmas spending and budgeting this year

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Christmas celebrations and get-togethers are usually full of fun, excitement and happiness. However, once the reality of your slapdash spending sinks in, this can put a dampener on the festive mood.

It’s important to get the right balance between treating yourself and refraining from getting carried away. This helps you to continue to build up your hard-earned savings, whilst preventing your financial situation from getting worse.

Fortunately, there are many different tools and tricks that you can utilise to help you win at Christmas spending. Here are 7 tips that will see you right, through the festive season.

 

1. Know your limits and stick to them

This may seem like a no-brainer, however, working out how much you can afford is the vital starting point for budgeting successfully.

Be sure to set realistic limits that will see you in a favourable financial position. At this time of year, it’s important to refrain from pressures to spend from retailers and family, to make sure that you don’t dent your finances.

If you find it difficult to stick to a budget, opt for a prepaid Mastercard such as the one from icount. With this, you can only spend what is loaded onto the card, so you won’t have any trouble overspending when shopping.

 

2. Host the Christmas dinner rather than buying gifts

Hosting the Christmas dinner or cooking for a large family can become a significant expense. Not only this, but if you have to buy gifts on top of food, the costs can rack up rather quickly.

To avoid overspending, you could opt for hosting the Christmas dinner rather than buying everyone individual gifts. This allows you to save money by shopping smartly and finding the best food deals, and your guests will undoubtedly be appreciative of the efforts you put into the day.

 

3. Take advantage of cashback offers

Buying your shopping through cashback sites such as TopCashback and Quidco is not only a great way of making the most of your Christmas budget, these sites can help you save all year round.

You can get money back from your purchases through hundreds of retailers, helping to reduce the pressure on your pocket during one of the most expensive times of year.

 

4. Don’t buy anything full price

This is a good habit to adopt to help you save money at any time of year, however, it is especially important around Christmas time.

Refurbished and second-hand electronics sell for significantly less than their brand-new counterparts and they are usually in good working condition.

To find great deals, be sure to tick ‘used’ on eBay and Amazon to see if you can find the products you’re looking for at a discounted price.

 

5. Secret Santa

Secret Santa is an age old tradition that can help you to save money during the festive period.

The set spending limits mean that you don’t have to pay over the odds for multiple gifts, and ensures everyone is getting something of the same value.

 

6. Get professional advice

If you find yourself struggling financially, you don’t have to go it alone. There are a multitude of different sites and services with helpful advice that can assist you with money management.

icount’s money guides are a great place to start when looking for simple and effective money saving advice. Whereas for further financial support, it’s best to contact the Money Advice Service to see what other options are available to you.

 

7. Skip the Christmas cards

It may seem like a small expense at first, however, once you add up spending on Christmas cards for friends, families, colleagues, kids etc. The costs can become astonishing, considering that most cards will end up in the recycling by January 1st.

It’s okay, no-one will think you’re a scrooge for cutting back on the Christmas cards. Rather, spread the word of your decision and help your friends and family save too.

 

For more Christmas money saving advice, read my other posts on the best times to buy gifts and how to avoid overspending at office parties.

 

 

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