seven things you need to know

Surprised Black girl holding teddy bear toy on Christmas
‘Create a gift giving culture that allows you to spend less on each other, yet still appreciate the thought and effort put into getting the gifts,’ say moeny saving experts. Photo: Getty

Christmas can be an expensive time of the year, with the cost of food, drink, and presents mounting up — especially for those who may have lost their jobs or are financially struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The money saving experts at online price tracking website have compiled a list of tips to help you save money and get ready for Christmas without a lasting impact on your savings.

Start prepping early in the year

Starting to get prepared earlier on in the year allows you to slowly get all the things you need for Christmas without feeling such a big effect on your monthly income.

Putting a small amount of money towards Christmas plans each month means you can get prepared without eating into your savings or finding yourself short at the end of the month.

Don’t go overboard on presents

You can still experience the joy of giving without spending huge sums on the latest game console or smartphone. “Create a gift giving culture that allows you to spend less on each other, yet still appreciate the thought and effort put into getting the gifts,” say the experts at Alertr.

Try making homemade gifts, upcycling or putting a cap on how much each family member spends on presents.

Make a budget

“Set out a certain amount to spend on each of your friends and family members and try not to exceed that limit,” say Alertr’s money saving experts.

READ MORE: Early Christmas shopping boosts UK retailers

“Setting a budget could help you can work out earlier in the year what impact Christmas is going to have on your savings and allow you to adjust your weekly spending accordingly.”

Drop silly traditions

Many households have Christmas traditions but look at what you could let go of without losing the magic of the festive period. This isn’t about getting rid of all the things you love about Christmas, just cutting down on the nonessential things.

Alertr highlights Christmas cards as an example of a tradition that could be scrapped to save cash. You could try sending an e-card instead in a change that could save you money on postage and have a positive environmental impact by cutting down on paper waste.

Sell your old things

Selling your unwanted things — including Christmas presents you’ve been given over the years that you’ve never used — can provide a handy boost of extra cash in the run up to the festive period.

Try Ebay (EBAY) or local facebook groups to make some money on your unwanted items.

Look for deals and offers

“There are many sites that have year-long offers and discounts on a huge variety of products. If you use them to their fullest potential you can get yourself some fantastic deals, particularly on Christmas decorations and treats,” say the experts at Alertr.

READ MORE: Barclaycard data reveals surge in UK consumer spending

Keeping an eye products you intend to buy for Christmas on price tracking sites can help you to find the best deals.

Post-Christmas sales

“This is possibly the best way to save yourself money around the festive period, but it does require some efficient planning,” according to Alertr.

The Christmas sales in January are the best time to buy anything festive as prices drop to a fraction of the original price because shops need to get rid of everything before they bring in the new seasons stock. If you’re organised enough to start planning a year in advance you could end up saving on next year’s festivities.

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