Top 6 Ways To Save Money For Christmas
[PHOTO CREDIT: My Family Club]
We all know the added financial pressures that Christmas can bring, especially when kids are involved.
Christmas is meant to be one of the happiest times of year but for many it's the most stressful.
Each January many of us make the new years resolution to save money for the next 12 months and make Christmas as stress-free as possible. But let's face it, life gets in the way at times with unexpected bills and expenditures. This makes it seemingly difficult to put money aside each month, meaning come Christmas we're forced to find new lines of credit to make it through.
Don't worry though, we have 6 great tips that can take away your worries and help you enjoy Christmas.
TIP 1: Set a savings goal
It's best to set a savings goal so you have the budget that will cover the cost of all your Christmas expenditures. On average, Christmas costs about £500.
To work out your budget think about the following:
- Who you need to buy presents for and what you might buy for them.
- Consider the Christmas dinner, how many people do you need to feed?
- Do you need to buy new decorations and a tree?
- Will there be any travel costs?
Now you've got something to aim for, let's look at the ways you can simply put that money to one side throughout the year.
TIP 2: Don't Spend £2 Coins
Firstly, get yourself a Terramundi Pot. These are money pots that can't be opened, meaning you must smash them to break in and get your hard earned loot.
[PHOTO CREDIT: Rutland Bears and Gifts]
Now every time you receive a £2 coin, don't spend it, place it in the pot. It's that simple. Well, it might be difficult at first because you're naturally used to spending them. After while you'll get better, especially if you give yourself a forfeit for spending one like add an extra pound.
[PHOTO CREDIT: Change Checker]
At the end of the year you get to enjoy breaking open the money pot and counting everything you've put aside. Get the whole family involved, it can be quite fun, but be careful when smashing the pot open as there may be small and/or sharp parts.
If you added one £2 coin per day to the pot then you'll have saved £730. Alternatively, saving just one per week will still result in £104 at your disposal for Christmas.
Maybe you can't afford to save £2 coins, that's fine, choose a different denomination, the point is to make saving simple and affordable.
GET STARTED: Find your Terramundi Pot at Amazon.
TIP 3: The +1 Penny A Day Challenge
This is another great method that could mean you can save £667.95 per year, which for many of you, should cover your Christmas budget from Tip 1.
The concept is easy, on your first day save 1p. The next day you save the same as the day before plus another penny.
- Day 1 = Save 1p (Total = 1p)
- Day 2 = Save 2p (Total = 3p)
- Day 3 = Save 3p (Total = 6p)
...and so on until...
- Day 365 = Save £3.65 (Total = £667.95)
Keep in mind that this is easy to stick to in the early days when the amount you need to save is relatively low, around £4.96 in the first month. Fast forward to the final month and you need to save £108.50. Another option is to spread it out evenly so you save £1.83 per day.
If you're feeling a little braver, how about using the same method using weeks and pounds (instead of days and pennies) to save £1,378.
GET STARTED: You can download this great PDF version from Skint Dads to help keep you on track.
TIP 4: Buy presents before December
Many of us leave the burden of Christmas shopping to December. This can leave a bit of a dent in your purse at the end of the month.
Instead, start buying your Christmas presents way before December. If you see something in the January sales for someone and you can afford it then why not buy it now. When you get it home you can put it in the loft and you don't need to think about it any more. More importantly, that's one less cost for December.
Continue this throughout the year and before you know it you'll have all the Christmas shopping done BEFORE December.
TIP 5: Go bargain hunting
So be sure to keep your eyes open for special offers. Many companies will have sales throughout the year as well as one off deals and vouchers codes. This could as simple as free delivery or 30% off everything, either way, every little helps and small savings can quickly add up.
Luckily you don't need to go far to find these deals. Simply check out our Special Offers page. You can stay up to date too by signing up to our newsletter (at the bottom of this page) and we'll email you all of the current offers.
TIP 6: Change your TV & Broadband Package
Pretty much everyone has broadband and a TV subscription nowadays. Providers like BT and Sky have some great introductory offers but these soon run out and you may be paying more for your TV and broadband than you think.
Shopping around the time your contract is up could help save you a fortune while still receiving the same channels and internet speed. Look out for packages that include TV, Broadband and your landline phone as these will generally offer the best value for money.
Here's a selection of some current offers:
- Sky - £49.40pm - Sky Q TV - 17Mb Unlimited Broadband - Phone
- BT - £37.99 - TV - 52Mb Unlimited Broadband - (FREE Evening & Weekend Calls)
- Virgin Media - £29pm - TV - 58Mb Unlimited Broadband - Phone (FREE Weekend Calls)
- TalkTalk - £28pm - TV - 17Mb Unlimited Broadband - Phone (FREE Evening & Weekend Calls)
There are always great deals to be had but these won't last long so get to it. We've seen cases where some deals are so cheap that even the paying an exit fee to leave your existing contract means you're still better off in the long run. Be aware that there might be additional one-off/set up costs too.
Have a look at your last bill and compare it to these bundles and see if you too could be better off.
So there you have it, 6 simple ways to save money for Christmas. If you do just one, or maybe all of them, you'll be in a much better position come December. Of course there are more ways to save money these are some really simple ones to get you started.
We'd love to hear how you're getting on with your savings this year or if you have some great tips to share with us on twitter @ForYourBuysOnly.