How to save money over Christmas

IN: Personal Guides

Christmas is a time of great joy and celebration, but it can also put a considerable strain on your finances.

Keep spending in check at Christmas time.

Buying gifts and food, enjoying evenings out with friends and travelling around more can all make it difficult to keep your bank balance in the black at this time of year.

However, there are things you can do to keep your spending under control. Here are five simple steps that could help you have an affordable Christmas this year.

Be a bargain hunterundefined

Get into 'bargain hunter' mode as early as possible and take every available opportunity to save money on those little purchases that add to the cost of Christmas, such as crackers and decorations.

Another helpful trick is to make the most of any supermarket vouchers you may have around the house and use reward points you've built up with high-street retailers 

Ask family and friends to contribute

If you will be hosting family and friends for Christmas parties or meals this year, don't be afraid to ask for some financial contributions to cover the cost of the food and drink, especially if you have done it many times in the past.

Or, rather than asking for a monetary contribution, ask people to bring some food and drink along with them, possibly with a festive theme to add to the fun of the occasion.

Don't be afraid to ditch traditions

Christmas time is full of traditions that, while fun, can prove costly.

Consider Christmas cards, for instance. If you are sending cards to dozens of people, the cost of buying and posting them can be fairly substantial.

Let your friends and family know that you won't be sending cards this year, or cut down on the price of stamps by emailing your festive greetings.

Make the most of the January sales

Many shoppers love hunting for bargains at the January sales and there are plenty of opportunities to pick up discount items that can help reduce the financial impact of Christmases to come.

Decorations, stocking fillers and cards are all likely to be much cheaper directly after Christmas. While it might feel strange buying them in January, it will ease the pressure on your finances when December comes around again.

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