It’s only two pay packets away until Christmas! To avoid the festive financial fear, I’m giving you my top tips to be a savvy shopper this Christmas.
- Prep like a pro. I can’t stress this enough. You need to plan early if you want to cut the cost of your Christmas! The earlier you start saving, the less you need to put aside each month, which means that you won’t feel the pinch. We may be drained of festive cheer by New Year, but January is actually the best time to bag the best bargains for the following year. Christmas decorations from 5p? Wrapping paper from 10p? Christmas trees from £1? Yes please!
- Set your budget. It’s so easy to get swept up in the spending season and start going overboard with the credit card. Avoid that temptation to impulse buy by making a good old-fashioned list – and sticking to it!
- Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Black Friday is my favourite time of the year to nab a good deal in time for gift-giving season! What used to be a one-day event has now become a week-long bargain-lovers dream – or in some cases two weeks for certain retailers! This year Black Friday falls on Friday 24th November so make sure you save the date, but remember that deals will be live as early as two weeks previous!
- Ashleigh Money Saver – Follow my Facebook page, Ashleigh Money Saver, to see the top deals available online and instore. My team of bargain hunters are always scouring the net for popular products at the best price so that you don’t have to! Seen a great deal while shopping? You can always join my Facebook group called Ashleigh Money Saver’s Bargain Hunters UK to share it with other savvy shoppers and see one’s that they’ve found in return! If you have children, you can also follow my Facebook page Ashleigh Kids, which is dedicated to finding the best buys for little ones.
- Toy R Us Take Time to Pay Scheme – If you have kids like me then you know full well how expensive Christmas can be! Toys R Us has answered our prayers by allowing us to spread the cost of Christmas shopping over several months. You can avoid the crowds by getting all your shopping done early and ticking off children’s gift list before it all sells out. Not only that but Toys ‘R’ Us will honour any change in prices of gifts from initial shop to collection. What’s not to love? You have to pay a small fee of just £5, and the plan requires a 20% deposit to reserve desired Christmas presents, but no interest rates will be charged and you can pay over 4, 8, or 12 weeks. I did it last year and I would highly recommend it!
- Last online delivery dates – If you’ve left it to the last minute, make sure you know when the last delivery dates are if you’re shopping online to avoid that mad panic or embarrassment! I always post about the last order dates on my website, ashleighmoneysaver.co.uk , so you know you’ll be able to find them there nearer the time.
Book train tickets in advance – If you need to travel to see your friends or relatives during the festive season, make sure you’re savvy with when you by your train tickets to keep your Christmas budget on track! The key is to start looking about 12 weeks before, which is when advance tickets are usually released. I often use Trainline’s ticket alert system to remind me to book up!