Saturday 10 December 2016

9 Christmas Money Saving Tips For 2016

* Guest post

Christmas can a stressful period even though it's associated with bottomless glasses of Bailey’s, Michael BublĂ© album, or even mince pies. The reason for this is that when you sum it all up, it does add up to a significant period in the year.

However, this does not always have to be the case. It is possible to avoid spending too much on the less important parts of the season. Here are 9 ways to save this Christmas...

1. Using Cashback Credit Cards

Cashback credit cards give you a set percentage back (usually 5%) for each purchase you make thus making your shopping cheaper without even using discount codes. However, you should repay it in full each month by setting up a direct debit since you could otherwise end up paying about a 23% interest rate, which makes the 5% savings look seriously insignificant.

2. Online Purchases

You probably enjoy the Christmas displays and the feeling of being in a department store during the festive season. Still, you cannot deny that it is possible to find what you are shopping for online for much less. Consider using All Beauty for perfume purchases, Depop for clothing purchases, and Amazon for book purchases. After all, you will be getting the same products but at a much lower price.

3. Avoid Being A Snob

It is not a bad thing to take pride in buying presents, but you should never feel like you are being judged completely on the price tag of what you are gifting. The best presents sometimes are the thoughtful, homemade things.

4. Booking Train Tickets 8 Weeks Prior

Booking train ticket might not be actual shopping but it does involve the purchase of something. Booking your train tickets 12 weeks prior is typically much cheaper. Considering that tickets are often pricier during the festive season, it makes sense to book them in advance so that you never have to spend a fortune once the festive season is in full gear. Best get booking, quick!

5. Using Loyalty Cards

Why do you need a loyalty card if you never claim the points that you save? You should save all year round so that by Christmas you will have a decent amount in cash to spend or even convert in vouchers you can subsequently spend at the particular store.

6. Avoid Overbuying Food

While a turkey sandwich might be something to look forward to on Boxing Day, it is possible to buy too much Christmas food. I am definitely guilty of this! That's why it's important to get your portion sizes right and avoid wasting food since you will be wasting money too.

7. Proper Organisation

Prepare a list of all those you need to get gifts for as well as what you plan to get them since it helps you avoid the mad dash commonly witnessed during the Christmas season. Doing this also ensures that you don’t spend too much money if your neighbor invites you over for coffee because you had not planned to get her a present, you should not be panic buying one at the last minute.

8. Using Voucher Codes & Freebie Sites

Christmas has a tendency to bring with it endless shopping, endless socializing, and endless amounts of money leaving your wallet. This is where voucher codes come in. It is always a good idea to sign up to several voucher code websites or scour the web thoroughly before you agree to an evening out or buying any gifts. Moneysavingexpert and WOWFreeStuff is an amazing resource for amazing discounts on brands and dinner, and they often have exclusive deals unavailable elsewhere.

9. Start Your Shopping Now!

While it might seem a bit early to start your shopping, buying several things each week prior to the actual shopping season helps you remain in control of your finances and keep track of your purchases. If you do this, you will ensure that it does not come as a huge shock all at once.

If you follow all the 9 tips discussed here, you can be sure of waving your Christmas money related worries goodbye.

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