5 ways to avoid blowing your budget over Christmas
The way we spend Christmas may be very different this year than normal, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be much cheaper. For many people, the costs of all those Christmas gifts, decorations and food may be just as expensive as usual.
However, while we’ve all done things differently in 2020, this Christmas may also be a chance to bring about some changes to your spending habits. You could even use some new habits you’ve learned during lockdown to save some money.
Here are some festive-themed suggestions from Laura Laidlaw, head of customer communications at Standard Life, on how not to blow your budget over Christmas…
1. Oh come, all ye savings
Some people may have been lucky enough to have saved a bit of cash this year from staying at home more often. Now could be the time to dip into it, rather than turning to borrowing on credit cards.
2. Let it switch, let it switch!
Many of us obediently pay our bills throughout the year and don’t keep an eye on new tariff offers. However, checking to see if you’re still on the best deal or switching to a different provider could make all the difference this Christmas.
You could compare the costs of different energy providers, broadband, TV packages, gas and electric company or even gyms. Also, don’t forget your current account. Keep an eye out for any bank switching incentives such as offers of cash.
3. Secret Santa is coming to town
Many of us only think about Secret Santa for co-workers or large groups of friends. But if money is stretched in the family, it could also be a way for relatives to give gifts to each other, if everyone agrees. That way, you just need to sort a gift for one other adult.
If a maximum price is set in advance, this can be an effective way of keeping costs down, and you can focus your time on buying one perfect gift.
4. Online wonderland
We’ve all adapted to virtual living more than ever this year, and instead of sending paper Christmas cards, you could keep costs down by sending friends and family e-cards online.
5. Frosty the snowman
Stocking up on food well before the big day and freezing it might save some pounds, and it prevents you having to put yourself through the last-minute ‘free for all’ at the supermarket.
Look around for supermarkets’ own brand products to keep costs down too.
Getting the drinks in for the festive period can cost a fair amount all on its own. It’s worth having a look online at what’s on offer and where to guarantee the best deals. Buying in bulk and looking at deals for wine and beer cases may also work out cheaper. But most importantly when it comes to food and drink, only buy what you actually need.
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