British people spend more on Christmas than most people anywhere else in Europe, with most of us splashing out £300 on gifts alone (and £567 in total), according to Deloitte research.
But it’s easy to take control of your Christmas spending using a few easy spending hacks – all without losing an ounce of Christmas cheer.
With worries over rising energy bills and straining supply chains in the UK, there’s never been a better year to take control of the way you spend money this Christmas.
Below are 10 top tips on how to cut your spending and take control of your finances this festive season.
1. Look down when shopping
A wonderful Christmas feast doesn’t have to cost the Earth, especially if you think seriously about how much food you and your loved ones actually need
In the supermarket, there are often multiple versions of the same product. For instance, the chocolate biscuit selection boxes many families enjoy at Christmas.
The most expensive ones will often be arranged at eye level, to tempt shoppers in a hurry.
Take the time to look down (or crouch down) and make sure you’re getting the best-value product.
2. Organise a ‘Secret Santa’ for your family
Most of us are familiar with Secret Santa in offices – but it can be a great way to ensure adults in families don’t overspend on gifts for each other.
Set a budget beforehand and ensure everyone is informed: Then pop everyone’s name on a piece of paper and put it in a bowl or a hat.
With each grown-up only buying one gift, rather than buying for everyone, it makes for an affordable Christmas. Plus, it means less cash wasted on socks, soaps and shaving kits.
3. Zilch your Christmas!
Zilch is a game-changing virtual card which is perfect for helping you manage your Christmas spending, letting you buy gifts for the people you love and pay for them in convenient instalments.
You can pay over six weeks at 1000’s of stores with no fees and 0% APR. Or shop everywhere else for a representative 11.5% APR with Zilch Anywhere.
Zilch is powered by Mastercard, so it’s as safe and secure as using your bank card, and you have a personalised available spend so you can spend responsibly.
With Zilch’s ‘Tap and Pay’ feature, you can add your digital card to your wallet on your smartphone.
Unlike other ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ services, there are no hidden fees (such as late fees or annual fees).
It also works as a cashback card, so if you choose ‘Pay it all now’ at checkout online or in store you get 5% cashback in Zilch rewards until December 31. What a great way to get rewarded for that Christmas spending!
Zilch alerts you before a payment is due, so there are no nasty surprises. And if you need a bit of extra time, you can press ‘Snooze’ to get four extra days to pay.
Click HERE to find out more and sign up for Zilch now*.
4. Make a list
It’s easy to get carried away when gift shopping, so setting yourself a budget or making a list will help you avoid overspending
It’s very easy to get sucked into impulse-buying at Christmas, especially when buying gifts and food for people you love.
Make a shopping list either on paper or in a note-taking app on your smartphone and don’t buy things that are not on the list.
5. Set up a ‘Christmas cupboard’
Start shopping for Christmas early, and set up a Christmas cupboard to store food bargains you’ve found.
Keep a list of everything you need, and buy (non-perishable) Christmas treats when you find them discounted or at a bargain price.
6. Buy second-hand
When buying gifts such as toys for children, you can often find second-hand versions (either unused, or barely used) for a fraction of the price.
Plus, it’s a great way of prolonging the life of items that might have otherwise ended up in landfill – so it’s a green way to shop too!
Do your research and you’ll find you can get boxed versions of pretty much anything on virtual market places, from dollies and building kits and even trikes. Best of all, small children in particular won’t even notice the difference.
7. Learn from Christmas past
From repurposing and upcycling to buying second hand, there are lots of nifty ways to still enjoy a magical Christmas without breaking the bank
Take a look back at what you spent money on last year using your bank statements and credit card bills – and work out where you can save.
Did you buy a load of food which did not get eaten on Christmas day – or a bunch of decorations which are still in the cupboard?
Learn the lessons of last year and only buy what you really need so you can save yourself some dough.
8. Make a gift pact
Do you have relatives or friends whom you find yourself buying gifts for year-on-year – but receive token gifts like socks in return?
Why not make a pact to stop the spending this year? Contact them well in advance of Christmas and say you’re trying to cut back on buying presents this year.
Spending for spending’s sake is wasteful. And who knows? They might be grateful you suggested stopping the tradition!
9. Get creative and MAKE gifts
Unleash your creativity and make your gifts this year. Individuality is guaranteed and it’s a nice relaxing outlet for you, too!
Handmade gifts aren’t a cheap option – in fact, they’re usually more touching than shop-bought gifts.
Show people you care by making soap or jam, sticking together a family photo album or even painting.
Family and friends will appreciate the gift for the time you’ve put in and will likely treasure it for longer as a result.
10. Buy your travel tickets early
Not strictly gifting, but if you’re travelling for Christmas, don’t leave it until the last minute to buy train and plane tickets: It’s far cheaper to buy early.
Even if you HAVE left it late, it’s still worth checking whether cheaper advance tickets are still available, as some rail companies still let you buy cheaper tickets right up to the day of travel.
Gift shop now, pay later with Zilch
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