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Money saving

Planning for Christmas

Posted 21 October 2015 by Christine Walsh

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Planning for Christmas can be stressful if money is tight. Have a look at our tips to make it stress-free.

Yep that’s right it’s here again… well on the way again at least. The tinsel, the songs, the shopping, the rush, the relatives, the cooking… before you know it you’ll be in the middle of it. Christmas is coming round again!

Christmas can be really special: you get to spend precious time with family and friends, indulge in delicious food and who doesn’t like unwrapping a present or two? But for many people along with Christmas comes a feeling of dread, and the reason for this all comes down to one word: money.

Christmas should be a time to have fun and enjoy yourself not worry about money. So, even if money is tight this year there are little tips and tricks you can use that could make the difference between being stressed out and feeling like you’ve got it under control. Here are some ideas to banish the Christmas money blues.

Quick fire ideas to conquer Christmas

1.       Secret Santa. This office favourite can work with the family as well. Why not get in touch with people and suggest that you all just buy one present for someone in the family? If you think about it you might even be more likely to get a better gift this way. If the person buying you a present only has to buy for you, they might be able to put more money into your present than they normally would and save money overall because they don’t have to buy for anyone else. Win, win! Either way, make sure you set a spending limit that everyone is comfortable with.

2.       Don’t go overboard. Make a list of people you really want to buy for and try to stick to it. Consider whether you could agree with certain friends and family members that you won’t buy for each other this year. For instance, maybe you want to buy for your nieces and nephews, but do you absolutely have to buy for your siblings as well? You never know, other people might be struggling more that you think and be relieved you’ve suggested it.

3.       Wait till the sales. If you’ve got someone in the family who wants something particularly expensive, or you need a new telly for the family, it will probably pay to wait till the January sales. You really won’t have to wait long to get the big gift. You could give them something small to unwrap on the day and probably still end up making a saving.

4.       Look online. Hopefully by now most people are in the habit of checking online for big purchases before they buy on the high street, but if you’re not, you should be. You stand a much better chance of finding a cheaper deal. It’s more convenient and you get to beat the Christmas rush. Just bear in mind that it’s best to start looking early so that it can be delivered in time and stocks don’t run out.

5.        Get saving as early as possible. We’ve written a lot about how you can make saving easier and even fun in some situations, so have a read of some of our ideas to get some inspiration. It’s certainly not too late to start saving, you might be surprised by how much you can put away by taking a "little and often" approach.

 All in all Christmas really can be the most wonderful time of the year whatever your budget. If you’ve got any tips for saving money around Christmas, we’d love to hear your ideas, share them on Twitter

 

 

by Christine Walsh

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To find out more about managing your money and getting free debt advice, visit Money Advice Service, an independent service set up to help people manage their money.