Welcome to Parent Hub

Ten tips to help you save money this Christmas

Posted on 03 December 2015

Christmas is coming soon and for families it’s one of the most expensive times of the year.

Here are 10 tips to help your money go further this year.

1. Make a list and check it twice.

Impulse buying at Christmas is never a good idea for the bank balance. Make lists before you shop and stick to it. It’ll speed up your shopping too, so you’ll save time in the shops!

2. Simply buy only what you need.

Christmas gatherings are great fun, but they can be expensive and food is often wasted as most people have a tendency to over buy. Visit www.lovefoodhatewaste.com to use their handy portion calculator. Ensure you plan ahead and confirm who’s coming before too so you have a set number.

3. Suggest a secret Santa to friends and family.

Gift giving always starts out with good intentions, but it can quickly become expensive. An easy way to join in is by taking part in secret Santa, where names are drawn from a hat so each person only buys one gift. There is usually a budget set of anywhere between £5 and £20.

4. Give gift cards as presents.

 We’ve all got those family members and friends that are impossible to buy for! Solve the problem by choosing a gift card from a shop you know they like, and load an amount that suits your budget. It helps you stick to your budget and you’ll even save time and money on wrapping paper!

5. Sometimes size does matter

 If your budget is small, why not buy big low cost presents for your kids. At a young age children don’t necessarily know the value of money so sometimes large, low cost presents will have more impact than smaller more expensive ones. "A 2 or 3-year-old faced with a choice between a penny, dime, and nickel will almost always choose the nickel because of its size," says Dorothy Singer, Ed.D., a senior research scientist at Yale University in New Haven, CT.

6. Special offers will save you extra

 Discount codes, sales and special offers will help you save a little extra over Christmas time.

7. Book train travel early

If you’re travelling to see friends and family by train in the busy Christmas period, prices can rocket. Rail operators release tickets weeks in advance, so get them as early as possible to get the best prices for travelling over the Christmas period. With family railcards there are some extra big savings to be made too.

8. Buy and sell unwanted things

The second-hand on-line market is growing every year. Try websites such as Shpok, eBay and Gumtree. If you find yourself holding onto clutter you don’t need, selling your unwanted clothes, bags and shoes is a great way to make room for new presents and earn some spending money too! These websites are a good place find second-hand bargains too. If you want keep your budget low you can use these websites to pick up gifts for much less than on the high street!

9. Take unwanted gifts back

If you buy a gift for someone and it’s no longer needed, or you receive something you don’t like, it’s a good idea to take it back for a refund or exchange as soon as possible. The longer you leave it, the more likely you’ll forget about it.

10. Make your own promise vouchers

If you can’t make your money stretch to a gift, you can make your own personal vouchers with a promise of something. This could be your time or planning ahead for a time when your budgets not as stretched. For example, promise a family day out, a movie night or quality time doing a fun activity.