Thursday 2 November 2017

Saving Money For Christmas - A Few Of My Tips

This year is going by so fast and I can't believe we are already in November! It's crazy to think that just next month we'll be opening presents and eating Christmas dinner, it's come around so quickly! I definitely don't feel as prepared as I have done previous years so I've been panicking a little bit and trying to come up with a few ways to save money which I thought I'd share with you. These tips are brilliant for anyone, because who doesn't want to save a little bit and have some spare money leftover, especially around this time of year? It can be so tough trying to afford everyones Christmas presents aswell as getting all the food in, on top of the usual monthly bills and expenses, so hopefully these will give you a few ideas on how you can help yourself and make everything a little bit easier over the festive period.

Cashback Sites 

This is something I've gone back and forth with over the last few years but at the moment I'm really dedicated with it and make sure whenever I'm placing an order online, I go through one of the cashback sites. These sites basically reward you for making a purchase and give you a percentage of the order total back. I currently go through Top Cashback and it's so easy to use, you can sign up here with my referral link if you wish and all it means is that whenever I want to place an order online, I go on their website first, search for the retailer and follow their link through to the website. This then tracks my visit and purchase and I'll receive a percentage of it back afterwards. It might only be a small percentage you earn back from each purchase but it all adds up and if you're going online to order something anyway, why not earn a little bit of it back without really having to do anything?! A few people on my Instagram have mentioned recently that they use sites like this throughout the year and by Christmas they've got a decent amount ready to transfer into their bank which covers the cost of all the presents they have to buy!

Survey Sites

 I've been a member of a few survey sites for a few years now and they are absolutely brilliant. Sites like Valued Opinions and Toluna are extremely easy to sign up to and if you check every few days they'll be surveys waiting for you to take, either for points or money. Toluna reward you in points and when these add up to a certain amount you can exchange them for vouchers, I've redeemed several Cineworld and Pizza Hut ones in the past which have been brilliant for weekends with family! Valued Opinions offer money so some surveys are worth about £1, others only 25p and one recently got me over £40! Obviously the surveys offering less money take less time but again it all adds up. I've been really going for it over the last month or so in time for Christmas and so far I've managed to get 4 £10 Boots vouchers, 2 £10 M&S vouchers and 1 £10 Burton voucher. Sites like this are incredible for this time of year, and if you can build up enough vouchers, you could end up getting everyones presents sorted for literally nothing out of your own pocket.

Stock Up Early 

When it comes to shopping for the actual festive food which lets face it, is the best bit, prices can really add up. Not only is there the Christmas dinner to think of, the classic tubs of chocolate, boxes of crackers and bottles of prosecco, they can all can get expensive and if you're buying in one go along with your usual weekly shop, it's going to cost a bomb. From about the start of November, right up until the week of Christmas, I like to add bits each week to the weekly shop meaning the cost is spread out and not as noticeable as it would be if I got it all in my Christmas Eve shop. Just the tubs of chocolate can cost up to £5 each! Things like this I try to get one a week in the food shop over the space of a few weeks and just store in the spare room, after that I'll then stock up on a few savoury snacks, and then the drinks. Also, things like the turkey and dessert if you get frozen, can be bought weeks in advance. It's definitely worth stocking up early on all the food, it makes life so much easier.

Buy Presents In The Sales 

This is something I haven't done much of in the past but I'm definitely going to take advantage of in the boxing day and January sales this year. If you've got a lot of people to buy for then it's such a good idea to get a few different things in the sales and keep them for the following Christmas. Places like Boots do massive sales after the big day and you can find some real bargains. Gift sets for women and men which include bath products, aftershave, makeup etc, are heavily reduced and things that were around £10 at Christmas, are reduced down to about £2. These things don't have expiry dates either and they'll stay in perfect condition so definitely worth stocking up on.

Talk To Your Bank

 You don't have to be struggling for money or in debt to go and have a meeting with your bank, they are there for all sorts of things and can advise you on lots of way to cut back and save money so it's definitely something to consider around this time of year. They can go through your bills with you to see where you might be paying too much for something, and they can take a look into things like your home insurance to check you're getting what you're paying for. Just little things like that can give you a clearer view of what you're actually spending each month. They can also let you know about things like the Save The Change scheme which might not necessarily be something you'd have known about otherwise (I know that was the case for us anyway). This is a particularly good one as it means you just spend as normal and the bank just round things up for you, and put the extra in a savings account. So for example if you spend £4.80 in a shop, automatically your bank would round that up to £5 and put the 20p into the savings account for you. Small things like this really add up and before you know it you've got £20 sitting in that savings account ready to be transferred to use whenever you want. If you wanted to, like with other things I've mentioned, you could let that build up for as long as you want and transfer a much bigger amount than that at Christmas! Talking to someone at the bank doesn't have to be scary, they can just genuinely offer advice on little things you can do to help yourself and let you know about great things like this. 

I think all of that should have you covered when it comes to saving money for Christmas, and I really hope it helps a few of you. I'm definitely no expert when it comes to money, but just like everyone I'm always looking for new ways to cut back without really missing out on anything and I think these are all pretty good ways to do that!

Do you have any money savings tips for Christmas? Do you think any of these will be helpful for you?

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