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Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Money Saving Tips for the Festive Season

christmas-tree-decorations
Image: Lorna Holland
It doesn't seem like more than five minutes since we were basking in the warm glow of summer (or as warm as the British summer gets, anyway) but believe it or not, the festive season is almost upon us once again. While the thought of trees and decorations, cosy jumpers and nights in watching films with your loved ones might fill you with happy memories and anticipation, there's always one thing that can spoil your Christmas - the dreaded festive pinch.

With seasonal spending seeming to be constantly on the rise, it's no surprise that the demand for ever more lavish displays of gifts and decorations are fast becoming the norm. However, it isn't necessary to break the bank to guarantee a great Christmas - in fact, if you control your spending, you're probably even going to have a more carefree, relaxed time than if you are constantly worrying about your bank balance and those dreaded January credit card bills!

To help you cut back on your spending and reduce costs this Christmas, here are some of my top money saving tips to help you get through the festive season without the need for financial worries.
  • Make a budget and stick to it. Identify everyone you need to buy for, those you'd like to buy for, and those who will just need a card. If you are really worried about your budget, you can then cut down by focusing only on the essential must-buy list. Establish your overall gift budget and then apportion this between each recipient to ensure you don't go overboard on the spending
  • Start early. It may only be Halloween, but the big day will be here before you know it. Make sure you're prepared (and the credit card bill is split over several months) by starting your preparations in plenty of time. Not only will it help your budget, it will also help you feel less stressed as the 25th approaches!
  • Take advantage of special offers and seasonal promotions. 3 for 2, buy one get one free, Black Friday sales and reduced prices - all of these festive cutbacks are your ticket to a cheaper Christmas. Free samples can also help you ensure you are getting the right gift for the right person at the right price so there won't be any need for tears on Christmas morning
  • If you are planning to travel over the festive period, book your tickets well in advance. Many rail companies offer reduced prices for early bookings, so be sure to get in and get organised earlier rather than later
  • Use loyalty cards and cashback sites. There are many options out there, but when used correctly, these can be a real benefit to your Christmas shopping experience and help you get more for your money
  • Don't be a brand snob. Not just with gifts, but with food, decorations, party outfits and more - often, high street alternatives prove to be just as good (if not better) as their luxury counterparts, so be sure to shop around before settling on your purchases
* This is a sponsored post.

What are your best tips for saving money at Christmas? Share them in the comments below!

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