Ways To Save Money This Christmas

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Photo by Jonathan Borba on

With Christmas just around the corner, it’s time to start saving money and buying Christmas treats. It can be tempting to splurge on gifts and food, but many of us are left with a hole in our pockets when it comes to the new year. If you’re looking to end the year with a little more cash, here are some of the best ways to save money this Christmas!

Start Your Shopping Early

Everyone knows that shopping early can help you save money and spread costs. There are sales and offers in the run-up to Christmas, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If you’re willing to fight the crowds, it’s worth looking at what offers there are to see if you can grab a bargain. Many bigger shops start their Black Friday sales early to avoid website crashes and give new offers each day. 

If you really want to be prepared, you could shop for Christmas gifts in the January sales and save them for the following year. That way, you’ll still have Christmas themed gifts, but at half the price! Shopping a few weeks before may not save you lots, but it can help you budget and spread out any Christmas expenses you may have. I’d recommend setting a budget before you start Christmas shopping. Make sure you budget for table gifts, food and decoration too. You can also see what needs to be cut down when you write it all down!

Try A Charity Shop Christmas

It’s easy to buy brand new things for everyone, but many of the gifts we buy don’t get used or end up in the bin. This year, why not try a charity shop Christmas? Instead of buying brand new things, see what you can get in a charity shop or on second-hand sites like eBay. You’d be surprised at how many new items are being sold online. Each year, my family and I do a charity shop Secret Santa. It helps us cut down on the cost, help out charities and reduce our waste. Charity shops and second-hand sites sell new and used goods at a fraction of the cost, so you can get your family their dream gift at your dream price. Not everything will be new, but it’s worth having a look around for things you might like.

Bonus tip, if you’ve not used something since last Christmas, donate or sell it. Every December, I have a clear-out and sell what I don’t use anymore. People love shopping on eBay over Christmas, and I get some extra spending money for the festive season. I can easily make around £400 a month selling what I don’t use anymore. Even if they aren’t buying Christmas gifts, you’d be surprised what others will purchase second-hand!

Use Cashback Offers Where Possible

If you’re not ready to brave the big shopping centres, online shopping can save you money in multiple ways. Cyber Monday is a great place to start online shopping with deals! Shopping online helps you find the best deals and use coupon codes, but you’re also able to get cashback from most retailers. Make sure you sign up to websites and apps like TopCashBack and go through their links when you’re shopping online. You’d be surprised what websites are offering cashback! You may also find good deals on cashback sites that can help you with gifts. I recently purchased from Asos using TopCashBack and got a year’s worth of free next-day shipping with their link. Sometimes you can even get free gifts. You can also use cashback apps such as Shoppix and Shopmium, which will give you money back on your in-store food shops, perfect for the big Christmas shop!

Related: The best money habits to start as a young adult

Try Competitions For Gifts

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Photo by Any Lane on

Everyone loves a little win. This Christmas, why not see how many of your gifts you can win? I have entered many competitions and have won cash, gift sets and even trips away. You’d be surprised what bloggers and small businesses are giving away. I’d recommend creating a new email address specific to signing up for emails so that any spam and newsletters won’t clog up your typical inbox. You aren’t guaranteed to win anything for your loved ones, so make sure you have a backup plan, but you can save lots if you win! Try to sign up for a few competitions each day, and keep track of the ones you’ve applied for. I like to keep a list of websites, who I am gifting to and what the prize is so that I don’t get confused. Competitions are fun to do and exciting when you win. If you win, you get the thrill of claiming the price and the joy of gifting something expensive for free!

Book Your Travel As Early As Possible

If you’re looking to visit family this Christmas, book your flights and train tickets now. You’ll be able to book tickets around 10 weeks in advance, where the prices will be at their cheapest. You’re also more guaranteed to get the ticket and seat you want if you book now. While travel may not be as in high demand due to COVID, it’s worth getting in there early to get a better price. This goes for any accommodation you may be looking at over the holiday season. You can also combine your cashback offers to maximise your savings. If you’re looking to do a winter break, now is the time to look for great deals too! If you’ve forgotten to book early or like to wing things, you may be able to pick up last minute, cheap deals online, although this can’t be guaranteed.

Related: How to manifest your financial goals

Find Inexpensive Ways To Entertain

It’s tempting to go big at Christmas. The kids are at home wanting to do things for a week before Christmas, so it’s hard to know how to keep them entertained. You may also want to do something nice with visiting family. There are lots of free or inexpensive things to do with your family at Christmas, each one appealing to a different audience. These include ice-skating, going to a local Christmas market or fair or having a festive bake-off.

I’d recommend looking at your local noticeboard to see if there are any upcoming Christmas events. I love to visit Santa or go on a steam train to the “North Pole” with my family. You usually get treats and a gift included in the price. You can also use a website called Norad to track Santa on Christmas Eve and discover when he will be dropping off your presents. If you’re running out of fun and exciting things to do this Christmas, I have an ultimate Christmas bucketlist for you to complete!

Reduce Your Gifting Circle

We interact with so many people throughout the year, but that doesn’t mean each one needs a gift. If you’re in an office, participate in Secret Santa rather than gifting all of your close colleagues. Just because someone gifts you something doesn’t mean you need to return the favour. Cut down on who you send gifts to, and make it clear that you’re not interested in gifting things to get something in return. You’d be surprised at how many people would prefer to save the money than buy you something for a similar item in exchange!

A lot of my family have cut down on spending and on who they gift to. Spending time with each other is more valuable than a gift. Finally, reduce the spending limits on your gifts. It might be nice to receive a £300 gift. But if you need to gift a £300 gift back, it can be a bit much. Reduce how much you spend on each of your loved ones, and like them to do the same. You also shouldn’t feel bad if someone gifts you more than you gift them. It’s not a competition!

Other Quick Ways To Save Some Cash

There are so many ways to save money over the festive season. I love trying out new things, budgeting and cutting down where possible. If the other ideas aren’t for you, here are some more easy ways you could save money this Christmas!

  • Avoid “Buy Now, Pay Later” schemes unless you’re able to repay them with confidence
  • Use a credit card for extra protection with refunds and gifts, but make sure you pay it off!
  • Use shipping comparison sites like Parcel2Go to send gifts in the post more affordably
  • Make your own gift tags from old Christmas cards
  • Try some eco-friendly wrapping ideas to cut down on wrapping paper costs
  • Plan your purchases ahead of time
  • Try some homemade gifts!
  • Cut down on your food shops. It will also save your food wastage!
  • Use loyalty points to save some money on gifts

Christmas is expensive, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. There are so many other ways to save money over the Christmas period, you’d be surprised where you can make cuts. Personally, I love budgeting and using cashback or discounts as sometimes you don’t want to give up some gifts or luxuries. What’s your favourite Christmas money-saving tips? I’d love to hear how you have managed to save some cash and still celebrate Christmas the way you’ve wanted!

About the Guest Writer!

Em is a UK blogger focusing on self-improvement, money & sustainability on her blog “Love, Em“. With four years of experience in the blogging world, she is keen to share her knowledge. Emily is passionate about helping others, and since leaving college, decided to put her passions in writing. You can find her over on social media!

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