AD – Blog post shared as part of a paid collaboration with Zopa Bank.
The holiday season is fast approaching, and while it’s a time for celebration and togetherness, it can also be a period of financial stress for some. The cost of gifts, decorations, and feasts can add up quickly. The average Briton spent £642 on Christmas 2022 (YouGov). For many of us we’re not thinking about Christmas until December rolls around. But don’t worry, we’re here to share six effective ways to save for the festive season so that you can enjoy the holidays without worrying about your finances in the new year.
#ad We’re committed to promoting responsible financial planning, which is why we’ve partnered with Zopa Bank, a leading digital bank, to help you navigate the holiday season financially. Please note that some of the links in this post are sponsored.
6 ways to get ready for Christmas:
1. Set a festive budget
Just like Santa has a list, you should have a budget! Think about how much you can realistically spend on gifts, decorations, and festive meals out with friends, family and colleagues.
Sticking to your budget and keeping track of your spending will help you avoid overspending. So keep track, use a notepad, spreadsheet or just the notes app on your phone so there’s no way you can get confused.
Remember, you don’t have to buy gifts for everyone you know. Prioritise immediate family, your besties, and those who hold a special place in your heart.
AD | Start saving now for the festive season! Explore Zopa Bank’s Smart Saver account, which allows you to allocate funds to different goals. You can even choose to boost the interest rate by providing a longer notice period for withdrawals, helpful for combatting our cost-of-living crisis from the tough Bank of England interest rates imposed this year. Plus, you can start saving with as little as £1, and your savings are FSCS protected up to £85,000. Keep in mind that the longest notice period for a boosted interest pot is 95 days in exchange for the highest rate. Interest is paid monthly and subject to variation.
2. Compare Prices
Before you decide to buy anything, it’s always best to compare prices both on the high-street and also online. You can use online price-checking tools to ensure you’re getting the best deals. We also are big advocates for online marketplaces, as you can often find high-quality, second-hand items at lower prices.
3. Shop the Sales
Start your holiday shopping early. Believe it or not, even the January sales can be an excellent opportunity to buy gifts for the following year, provided you have the storage space!
Black Friday and Cyber Monday can also bag you a deal! But, be cautious and make sure you research prices beforehand to ensure you’re getting genuine bargains. Retailers may attempt to create the illusion of a good deal, so always do your due diligence. Check the prices of the items you have your eye on ahead of the sale weekend, so you’re aware which offers are the real deal!
4. Get Personal, there’s Magic in Memories
Remember, the festive season is about more than just spending money. It’s a time to cherish moments with your loved ones. You may not get this time back with grandparents or younger members of the family so that should be your main focus. One of the most thoughtful things you can do is add a personal touch to your gifts by getting creative and making handmade presents. Or you could even write a really heartfelt letter to friends and family that will often mean more to them than bath bombs or socks!
5. Embrace Secret Santa
Whether at work or with family and friends, organising a Secret Santa gift exchange is often lots of fun! Draw names and set a spending limit. This approach not only caps your spending but also adds an element of surprise and excitement to gift-giving. If you’re the organiser it can be a wise decision to buy one or two extra presents just in case anyone forgets to bring theirs. It’s always awful for the person left out and if everyone remembers, bonus, you have a present ready for someone next year!
6. Bulk order
Planning bulk deliveries where possible can save you a lot of money on postage fees. Try and order lots of things from the same place. £5 delivery on every gift can very quickly add up. It’s also worth exploring options for free or discounted shipping by shopping online.
Finally, don’t forget to take a deep breath and enjoy the festive season. Whether you’re working lots over Christmas or taking some time off, the most important thing is making time for you and your family. It’s not worth getting yourself into debt just for one day of the year so make sure you set a budget, prioritise who you give gifts to and start saving early.