It’s that time of the year in U.K where people would be busy finalizing the list of items to be purchased including gift items. Most people would have started saving for Christmas purchases some six or seven months back.
Though people would like to splurge during the Christmas season to show their love and affection towards friends and family members, it is still a time of the year when you can save money. If you are one of those looking for useful information on Christmas Money saving tips, the twelve tips explained below would be able to help you in saving money to a great extent
1. Create a budget
You can start listing out the items that you are planning to buy this Christmas season including Christmas gifts and decorative items and accessories. You have to start this listing process a couple of months before Christmas. Nearer the time, you can also shop online with Click Marketplace for discounts on food and drink, saving you a lot of money on your Christmas grub!
After listing all the items, you can allocate an approximate amount for each and every item listed based on last year spending. You can then list other Christmas related expenditure such as food and travel related expenditure and allocate a specific amount for such expenditures.
After summing up the allocated amount for buying listed items and allocated amount towards meeting other Christmas related expenditure, you would be able to arrive at an overall budget that you need to maintain for this Christmas Season.
2. Ramping up your Christmas
After knowing the budget amount, you can then compare the budgeted amount required with your actual savings. If there is a shortage in your savings, then you need to take immediate steps required to boost your savings. This includes cutting down on your regular recurring expenditure such as eating out with your family members and cutting down on watching weekend movies for the time being.
3. Planning the Purchases
Some people usually wait for the last minute deals to buy Christmas gifts. Though there would be last minute deals, there is no guarantee that a particular gift item would be in stock till the last minute. Therefore, if you are planning on purchasing gifts in bulk like a few corporate gifts, for instance, you may want to start hoarding them up before someone else buys it for themselves.
And, if you had planned to buy some kid gift items using the last minute deal, you also need to be mentally prepared with some alternative gifts, which might not be of the same quality as the originally planned gift and also less interesting for the kids. Hence, it is extremely important to plan your purchases and ensure that you don’t miss out on much sought after gift items.
4. Choosing between online and offline
Online offers are usually much more attractive than offline offers. During the Holiday season, many retailers and popular brand manufacturers give huge discounts for online purchases. Take, for example, if you want to purchase graduation memorabilia for your friend who is about to graduate, then you might look for online shops like Jostens (https://www.jostens.com/graduation/high-school/gifts-and-keepsakes) that can offer discounts on selected products. Moreover, the discounts offered here can be more profitable than the ones found in land-based stores. It is also possible that retailers provide a discount voucher code to get the selected items at discounted rates on the e-commerce site. Discount code information is usually available on the retailer website, local dailies, and also at online coupon sites.
5. Spending on Christmas Food
You might find attractive discounts being offered on various foods during the Christmas season, You need to carefully plan your food related purchases and avoid buying those food items that you would never be consuming during the Christmas season.
6. Opting for a Do it Yourself (DIY) Approach
Instead of buying gifts and Christmas cakes from stores, you can create a novel gift by yourself by taking the help of your family members. There are many web sites that provide valuable information on how to make DIY gifts. Similarly, you can also get information on how to make Christmas cakes from these DIY websites.
7. After Christmas Sales
You can actually shop for innovative gift items during the after Christmas season sales event that usually happens during the new year time, You can get amazing discount offers during this Christmas after sale event where the discount percentages are much higher than the discounts provided during the pre-Christmas season.
8. Saving on Christmas Card Postage
Though online Greeting card have been in vogue for more than a decade, people still prefer to send a physical Christmas gift card to their friends. The postage stamp rates would vary based on whether you make use of the second class deadline or the first class deadline in United Kingdom.
This year, the second class deadline is 18th December and for first class the deadline is 20th December. Second class postage stamps are cheaper than the first class postage stamps. Instead of posting the cards, you can also look at the option of giving the Christmas gift card in person.
9. Avoiding high Interest credit cards
At times you may have to turn to credit cards to manage Christmas related expenses as the savings might not be sufficient enough to make all the Christmas purchases. While using credit cards you can select those cards that provide 0% interest for a specific period of time from the date of purchase. If you’re looking for a reliable bank to open a credit card with, Halifax is one of the most reliable banks in the UK.
10. Avoiding High Interest Store cards
Many high-street stores provide the option of store branded credit cards to customers. Though they provide certain discounts on purchases made through such store credit cards, the interest rates are much higher than the credit cards issued by a bank or a financial service provider. It is better to avoid such store credit cards and, and save money by doing a 0% balance transfer.
11. Approaching Pay Day Loans with Caution
Though Pay day loans provide a quick way of getting money required to meet short term expenses such as Christmas related expenses, one has to be cautious in opting for such loans as interest rates are usually higher. Some payday loan providers also collect additional fees that are not documented in their prospectus and are usually hidden from the customers. Thus you would be paying double the interest amount when compared to the interest on a normal personal loan.
12. Saving for the Next Christmas
As soon as the Christmas gets over, people would be eagerly looking forward to new year parties for welcoming the new year. Once the new year begins, only a very few people open a separate savings account to save for the next year’s Christmas expenses.
As time flies very fast, it’s better to start saving on a regular monthly basis into a separate account from the January 2014 in order to build sufficient funds for meeting Christmas 2014 expenses.