Hannah Hill, Money for Life volunteer and Halifax branch manager’s top 10 tips to save money this Christmas:
1. The average Brit spends more than £17 on Christmas cards and postage each year, so try re-using embellishments on cards or old wrapping paper to make your own. And if friends and family live close hand deliver cards to save on stamps. Not only will this save you money, but it’s good for the environment and adds a great personal touch.
2. Over the cold Christmas season, heating bills can rocket. Try setting your thermostat a little lower – just 1 degree less will save you £5 a month and you probably won’t even feel the difference.
3. Have an own-brand Christmas dinner! Swap expensive branded food for your supermarket’s own-brand. These are often much cheaper and in many cases you can’t even tell the difference in taste. For example, a top price turkey can cost more than £60, but if you shop around you can get a non-branded turkey a third of the price.
4. Return unwanted Christmas presents or sell them on eBay! On average we each receive about £35 worth of unwanted gifts each Christmas, so this can be a great way of earning some extra money.
5. Do your shopping for the big Christmas dinner online and get it delivered in advance - by creating a virtual shopping list you are less likely to spend money on seasonal impulse purchases and you can also take advantage of special offers, online discounts and return shopping money off vouchers.
6. On average we each spend more than £500 on Christmas, so put money aside throughout the year to avoid piling up debts on your credit card in December. By treating this as monthly commitment as you would a bill, you’ll soon have a “Christmas pot” to cover those additional expenses. Putting aside £40 a month will cover most of your Christmas spending.
7. If you can hold out, wait until the Christmas sales to buy the bulk of your Christmas gifts. Last year most high street shops began their seasonal sales on Christmas Eve, slashing prices by as much as 75%. The post-Christmas sales can also be a good time to stockpile Christmas decorations on the cheap, ready for next year!
8. Rather than buy presents for all your friends, organise a Secret Santa. Everyone picks someone’s name out of a hat and buys them a present for an agreed amount, usually £5-£10. Everyone in the group gets a gift, but you only have one person to buy for.
9. Getting glammed up for the Christmas party season doesn’t need to cost a fortune. Rather than forking out for several expensive new dresses, shop for that special party outfit in charity shops or on eBay. Visit your nearest hair and beauty college to get the full works by trainees who are nearly qualified for a fraction of the price of your usual salon - you can get a cut and blow-dry for under a tenner, an average saving of at least £20.
10. There are some great online tools to help you save in the run up to Christmas. Lloyds customers can use Money Manager with their online banking to help them budget, whilst Money Saving Expert has launched the DemoHoHotivator to show you how much you can save this holiday season by cutting back on non-essentials.
For more Christmas tips, click here
To watch a video on Simple Steps for Managing your Feastive Finances, click here
Share your money-saving secrets for Christmas with us in the comments below or tweet us @FemaleFirst_UK