Christmas is just months away- and judging by how quickly this year has gone by, it will be here before we know it. The best way to save money at Christmas time is to plan ahead to take advantage of deals, discounts and bargains.
It’s also a great idea to start setting money aside each month for those inevitable unplanned Christmas drinks, get-togethers, and last minute presents. Read on to find our top tips for planning Christmas on a budget.
Start saving your sinking funds
A sinking fund is a ‘pot that you add money to over a period of time in order to save for an expense. In this case, you’d set up your Christmas saving pot (or pots!). You could either save one big pot, or could split this further into categories such as gifts, socialising, and food.
The beauty of this method is that you will gradually build up a stash of money so that the cost of Christmas does not overwhelm you when December comes round. Work out how much you anticipate you will need to spend over the festive period, and then split this amount into the remaining months or weeks from now until December.
Have conversations with friends and family
Having the Christmas conversations with your family early on can mean that you could save yourself some money in the long run. Don’t worry- they will probably be pleased that you’ve brought up the subject!
Chat about gift giving, and perhaps suggest some alternative gifting ideas so that you can all save money. For example, you might do secret Santa within your family, or agree to only buy gifts for the kids, or maybe commit to second hand or handmade gifts only. There are so many options which can take the stress out of gift giving.
Plan out your gifts (and start buying some if you can bear it!)
Starting with a plan of what you want to buy your loved ones (and how much it is likely to cost) is a great way to save some money. It avoids spending more than you need to, and means that you can start making purchases ahead of time if you wish to.
Take advantage of discounts
If you see your favourite tipple, or perhaps some sweet treats on offer in the supermarket, now is the time to snap them up (as long as they are in date for December of course!).
Keeping an eye out for discounts when you see them will inevitably save you money on the cost of gifts and food at Christmas.
If you’ve already planned out your gifts in advance, you can also take advantage of any Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales which offer generous discounts. Check what discounts retailers have offered in the past to get an idea of the money that you could save by shopping on these days.
Christmas doesn’t have to cost the earth, and with these top tips hopefully you might be able to have your cheapest Christmas yet!