Expert Reveals How to Do Christmas on a Budget
As Christmas approaches, many of us are looking for a way to enjoy our favourite season without putting additional strain on our bank accounts. In fact, #christmasonabudget has had 3 million views in the last week, with more people looking for advice and budget-friendlyways of enjoying the festivities.
Vikki Makinson, head of marketing and communications at Oceans, says: “Christmas is about spending time with your friends and family, not worrying about your money. With some money-saving tips, you can enjoy Christmas without the financial worry, whether buying local, DIYing decorations or agreeing on budgets.”
Agree on a budget
James Beckett, financial coach at Money Stocker, says: “One of the things I often do with my partner, friends, and even work colleagues is to agree on a budget for our gifts.
"This immediately eliminates the pressure to overspend to get something 'worthy'. It sometimes makes it more of a fun challenge, too - can you get your friend something they will love for £5 or £10?
"If my partner and I have a big purchase coming up, perhaps a holiday we want to pay for, we will use that mutual goal to agree on a giftinglimit. That means we can spend most of our money on something we both want, but we still get gifts to open at Christmas!”
If you’re still looking to add something special to your day without adding to the pounds, you can try DIYing your presents and decorations in the run-up to Christmas. These can be unique gifts that mean more than money can buy. Use items around your home like sustainable toilet paper rolls to make an angel topper for your tree or add a special note with your presents – something heartfelt your loved ones aren’texpecting.
Planning can not only save you some money, stopping you from splashing on that odd stocking filler but also ensure your family are getting what they want this Christmas. Data shows that 62% of Brits have received at least one unwanted gift every Christmas. This also contributed to more waste as people looked to sell, swap, or store away their unwanted gifts.
This Christmas, Brits are expected to spend anywhere between £691.96 to £973.38 per head, depending on the location. So, to keep costslow, planning the budget is vital.
Other ways to reduce your costs and help the environment can be to buy second-hand. And if you’re buying from charity shops, you can spread a little more of that festive cheer with your donations this season.
Another way to shop smart this year is by shopping with local businesses. Not only is this an environmentally friendly way to purchase gifts, perfect for your eco-activist family members, but it can also help boost your local economy in the run-up to Christmas. Buying locally can also give you more personal and unique gift ideas than mass-marketed items.
Swap bank accounts
And saving some extra pennies at Christmas sometimes doesn’t even involve moving from your sofa. This free hack can see you getting a little bit extra over the festive season without harming your back pocket or the environment.
James recommends: “Many banks offer these free bribes - sometimes over £200 - for you to simply switch a bank account to them. It does not even need to be your main account. I have quite literally made thousands switching bank accounts over the last decade.
“And there is still time to get some of the rewards before Christmas, or at the very least, in time for January when all our wallets are a bit lighter. It's great to see a free £200 land in your bank account right when needed.
“I would go as far as to say that switching bank accounts is essential. It sometimes gives you free money and access to those new-customer deals. For example, Nationwide offers £200 to switch, with a linked 8% regular saver - only for new customers.”
Christmas doesn’t have to be expensive; it is the love and time spent together that counts. But even when looking for the perfect gift, you don’t have to harm your purse or the environment to find it. Try DIYing your decorations for an extra special touch, taking what banks offerfor a free swap, or even shopping smarter for a Christmas without compromises.