Christmas is by far my favourite time of year, I think it’s all so magical . Cosy Nights by the fire watching Christmas movies, mischievous elves moving round the house, festive days out all done with a backdrop of glowing fairy lights. What’s not to love? But Christmas comes at a huge cost specially if you have a big family. It could cost £50 or more to visit a Christmas experience, a trip to your local shopping centre santa could be another £20 and the other 50 Christmas decorations you probably didn’t need could cost a small fortune. Those magical elves need accessories, advent calendars, teacher presents and that’s all before you count in the Christmas presents and preparations for Christmas day itself. All in all you end up being out a fortune and Christmas day comes and goes in a blink.
And it’s so true what they say about comparison being the thief of joy, we see all these great things advertised and shared on social media and think we need to have it all (I’m guilty of that too). This Christmas I have really tried to reign it in a bit and I have put together some of the things I have been doing. Don’t get me wrong I’m still buying and spending but I’m trying to make small changes where I think I can.
My top 5 tips…
- Use cashback sites. I have been using the top cashback app when shopping online and although some of the individual cashback amounts are small at the end when you total it up you might be surprised by how much you have saved. sometimes you get 100% cashback up to a certain amount so if you buy something at £15 you get £15 cashback or if you spend £30 you get £15 cashback. I took up this offer in Mothercare a few months ago. I only realised recently that my bank also has cashback offers. A couple of the offers I noticed are Starbucks and Costa coffee, if you’re anything like me I like to stop for a wee coffee when I’m out shopping so you can use the bank cash back offers and get money back into your account.
- Buying gifts for all your friends or all your friends children often amounts to quite a large amount. This year I have opted for buying only family presents and one of my friends and I are also going on a trip to pantomime with the kids rather than buying presents for each other.
- Sometimes if you are a member of a union or perks scheme you can get tickets at discounted rates for days out. I mentioned above going to the pantomime with the kids and friends, my mum actually got these tickets free through her union at work so we only had to buy the adult tickets which cost £10 each.
- I normally buy the kids a Christmas decoration with their name on it every year but I haven’t bought one this year as i noticed last year how much they are reduced to in the sales. So this year we are going to go in and get one in the sales. Also the sales are a great time to get your wrapping paper Christmas cards and decorations for next Christmas.
- Another thing I do is look out for local free events that are free or cheap. So far this year we have been to few few things in the town that you just have had to give a donation towards and have turned out really good. Today we were at a church event in the town where there was a market, crafts , face painting and a walk through show about the birth of Jesus. It was really good and the kids loved it. Another event we went to was organised by the nihospice I we gave a donation to each of the events on offer one of which was a ride round the town on an open top bus with santa. Facebook is a great way to find events happening in your town.
I would love to hear what tips you have on saving money. Remember the reason for the season and have a yourself a very merry Christmas.