Christmas is supposed to be a time of joy, however for many people a great Christmas can result in the New Year quickly turn into a financial nightmare. Many people don’t think about what they actually need to do to achieve the ideal Christmas (it’s not just about expensive items!) and end up with a pricey list of luxuries items including designer trees, costly presents and a posh turkey in order to give their family their idea of a wonderful Christmas. This can result in people getting themselves into debt and suffering from the aptly named January blues.
As boring as it may sound when purchasing gifts and Christmas related items we should be thinking about the amount of money we can afford to spend on Christmas. Once that has been addressed and budgets made for the various areas, ie. food and drink, decorations, gifts etc. you can then plan accordingly and do the fun part – go shopping! By following this simple advice not only can you have a merry Christmas but also have a happy New Year.
In the Spirit of Christmas and because I’m nice like that I thought I would help point you in the right direction to make some great savings and help prevent your ho, ho, ho from turning into a boo, hoo, hoo:
- Letter From Santa – Free of Charge
There are firms that charge as much as £10 for a child to receive a return letter from Santa impersonators. But if your child writes to:
With help from his pals at the Post Office, Santa will write back for free. Make sure you write Santa’s address carefully on a stamped envelope and send it by the 9th of December so he has time to respond, don’t forget it’s a busy time of year for Santa.
- Exchange your Tesco Club Points for Rewards Vouchers for your Christmas Shopping
By trading in your points for Tesco´s Clubcard Rewards, you can get up to four times the value of your points, this can be done at www.tesco.com/clubcard/deals. For example at Ask restaurants £10 will become £40 and at Goldsmiths Jewellers it would become £30. If none of those are a fit, up until now Tesco has been running their Christmas exchange, allowing for doubling of Clubcard vouchers in selected stores.
Downsize Your Turkey
Many times people hit the market looking for the biggest and best turkey they can find. The most expensive isn’t always the best and in reality we should be looking from a different perspective how many people will be eating and do I want enough leftovers to feed the whole neighbourhood? I quite like getting turkey crowns and allow for 2-3 extra people than are coming over as it keeps everyone happy and we get very little waste.
Find Bargains on Ebay
Ebay is stocked full of goodies, the problems is that since the site is now so large the number of bidders cause the prices to be driven up sometimes excessively. There are however tricks to find the auctions that are hidden and not bid on as much. Look out for items that have to be collected in person this means less bidders and smaller costs.
- Make Sure That You Write “it’s a gift” On Till Receipts
Legally the only person who has the rights if a product is faulty is the person who purchased it, so the receiver is in many instances unable to exchange it. There are however shops that do allow it, use a gift certificate or have the shop write that it is a gift and for whom on your receipt and their own copy as well.
- Be Prepared to Pounce On the Biggest Discounts
Make your Christmas list ahead of time and keep your eye out for vouchers, codes and sales. You can find great offer posted on sites like www.moneysavingexpert.com https://www.myvouchercodes.co.uk/ and http://www.hotukdeals.com/ you can also look at sites such as www.freestuffbaby.co.uk for freebies. It’s always best to buy items when you find them on offer and stash them in a cupboard for Christmas and Birthdays.
- Start your Christmas Planning in January
This the last thing that you probably want to hear however preparation is key to a stress free Christmas . January is the best time for your Christmas shopping, this is when the sales come out so grab your baubles, Christmas cards, decoration, gift wrap and even your winter clothes to give as gifts the following Christmas.
It’s also an idea to squirrel away a little of your earnings each month for Christmas, many people try to fit Christmas from their December salary, that on its own is generally not affordable. So if each month you save around £30, come next Christmas you will have some cash already ready for any items you still need.
Good luck with the Christmas preparations guys x