There are some creative and pragmatic ways you can reduce the financial burden of Christmas without impacting on your level of fun. Here’s how…
With household budgets squeezed around the world, it’s understandable that many families are worried about covering the cost of Christmas this year. In South Africa, the middle classes are being squeezed like never before, the UK has a forecast of stagnant wages for years to come, and the US, well, the US is anyone’s guess right now.
Okay, so perhaps that’s not the most optimistic economic outlook, but the truth is, if families could shave a few pounds off the cost of Christmas this year, the savings certainly wouldn’t go amiss. Thankfully, there are some creative and pragmatic ways you can reduce the financial burden of Christmas without impacting on your level of fun, and here’s how…
1. Make the most of vouchers
According to the Gift Cards & Vouchers Association, 6 percent of all gift vouchers go unspent. If you have an Amazon voucher you’re yet to use or money off coupons languishing at the bottom of your handbag, they will help to reduce the cost. With such a big bill to pay, every little helps!
2. Pare down your present list
Before Christmas, it’s always a good idea to sit down with family and friends and discuss the topic of Christmas presents. Suggesting to friends or extended family that you don’t exchange gifts this year may be well received. Equally, setting a price limit with immediate family and sticking to it will stop your spending getting out of hand. A Secret Santa is a fun and effective way to keep the costs down. Here are a few cheap gift ideas courtesy of the short-term lender Wonga.
3. Switch your supermarket
Doing the festive food shop can be an expensive business, but simply switching from your normal supermarket to one of the budget alternatives can save you a significant sum. In taste tests, products from the cheaper supermarkets often outperform the ‘premium’ brands so you can enjoy your Christmas feast for less.
4.Cut your drinks bill
The alcohol tends to flow freely over Christmas and the cost can quickly add up. There are a number of price comparison sites out there for drinks deals, such as quaffersoffers.co.uk, which allows you to sift through the price of your favourite tipple so you can find the cheapest store.
5. Get paid to shop
No, really. If you plan on doing a healthy share of your Christmas shopping online then make sure you sign up for a cashback website such as Quidco or Topcashback. They will pay a percentage of the price of every purchase straight back into your account. All you need to do is sign up and access high street and online retailers through your account.
6.Reduce your delivery costs
If you’re planning on posting a heavier item to family or friends then Royal Mail should not necessarily be your first port of call. Many discount couriers actually offer a similar or superior service for less, with some even coming to your home to pick up the package from you. For a courier to be more cost-effective, your package will need to weigh around 2kg or more.