It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and, at this time of year, all I want is you… to save yourself some money.
Therefore, if you’re looking to have yourself a merry little Christmas, before you start rocking around the Christmas tree, it’s time to get a bit frosty with your spending habits.
Join us as we take a sleigh ride through eleven of the more creative ways you can save money over the festive period.
1. Have a second-hand Christmas.
While in an ideal world it’s obviously nice to give gifts that are brand spanking new, sometimes buying second-hand gifts can be equally gratifying. Depending on what the item is that you’re looking for, you could save yourself a ton of money by shopping at local charity shops or second-hand websites like Gumtree or eBay.
2. Use wish lists.
Buying unwanted gifts for someone is simply a waste of time and money for both the gift giver and the recipient. Rather than shelling out money on a present that you’re unsure someone will like, why not ask them for a wish list instead? At least this way you will know that your money is being put to good use, buying gifts you know will be appreciated.
3. Don’t borrow.
While it may be tempting to spend out on your credit card over Christmas, it’s best to avoid doing this if you can possible help it. Instead, you should think about effective ways to budget in the days and weeks leading up to Christmas. Remember it’s just one day of the year – there’s no point financially crippling yourself for the sake of a few nice gifts.
4. Use less energy.
If you are hosting Christmas this year, it can be pretty easy for energy bills to mount up. Therefore, try to implement methods of saving energy where possible. Whether it be using candles instead of lamps, blankets instead of the thermostat, or the microwave instead of the oven, there are a number of ways you can keep your energy costs down over the festive period.
5. Choose time over money.
Christmas is about so much more than simply receiving presents. For many people, it’s about spending cherished time with their family and friends, which is something that money simply can’t buy. Therefore, if you’re really strapped for cash, it’s important to remember that spending time together with loved ones is much more gratifying than receiving any present might be.
6. Shop early.
Don’t be one of those people who leave all their Christmas shopping to the last possible minute. By shopping earlier on in the year, you could save yourself a ton of money. If you have specific gift ideas in mind, keep an eye on big sale events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday to grab yourself a much better price than you would have to pay otherwise.
7. Don’t focus on trivial traditions.
While it’s obviously nice to receive Christmas cards and thank you letters, depending on the number of people you are sending them to, the total cost can mount up. Therefore, save yourself some money by simply phoning or emailing your festive wishes to them instead. Nothing beats a fun festive e-card, like these from Jib Jab.
8. Regift gift cards.
If you’ve received a gift card in the past which you have either not used at all or have only used a small chunk of, there’s no shame in passing this on to somebody else who will appreciate it more. Say, for example, you have a family member who loves shopping at ASOS or Amazon. By passing your gift card to them, you are not only giving them a thoughtful gift but you won’t be spending any money either.
9. Sell your stuff.
Flogging your old stuff is a great way of making some quick cash. If you have gifts from last Christmas that you simply haven’t used, sell them onto someone else and use the money to do your festive shopping. Websites like Facebook Marketplace are great for getting rid of unwanted stuff quickly and easily around your local area.
10. Make your own.
Rather than buying an expensive gift for someone from a shop, why not think about making them something instead? Receiving handcrafted gifts can mean so much more to someone than simply a generic present. Whether it be a photo collage, a collection of home-baked goods, or a knitted scarf, Pinterest has a number of great ideas to choose from. Nothing says ‘Happy Christmas’ like handmade.
11. Share experiences
While on the theme of creating gifts that are memorable, buying tickets to a place, show or event will allow you to share an experience with a friend or loved one. If you fancy heading to the theatre, vendors often have a range of tickets to suit any budget. Likewise, booking holidays is nowhere near as expensive as it used to be. Websites like Ryanair and Skyscanner are great for finding the best deals.