We all want to save money in the run up to Christmas. For some people it isn’t just a want, they NEED to save money
So here are my top tips for saving money in the run up to Christmas.
Whether you want to make your money go further or you have a special occasion you’re saving for and you need to save a few pound, I have tips here that will help you save.
1. Set your budget.
When you plan to do some shopping, this is the most important tip. If you don’t set a budget you risk over spending and being left short for the rest of the month.
2. Do your research.
Planning on shopping in a sale? Plan what you want to buy in advance. Do you want to make a purchase of a large item such as a TV? Take a look around today and check the price of the item you would like in a few different shops. Check back at the prices every few days. Some stores inflate the RRP and then put it in the ‘sale’ with a saving of 50% – yet it could work out more expensive than it was a few weeks ago!
3. Now is a good time to start Christmas shopping.
Most stores have a sale on right now so you are bound o find yourself a bargain. Even if you don’t see anything for yourself, you might see something for a loved one for Christmas. Buy it now if you have a bit spare cash and put it away for Christmas. The price of gifts sky rocket towards November/December time so make sure you start your shopping as early as possible. Toys R Us do a layaway scheme that allow you to pay for toys over a 3 month period, perfect if you have children – More information here for the layway.
If you plan to shop in store, work out which shops you plan to go to and their opening times. Getting distracted and just wandering around the shopping centre can result in unnecessary purchases.
5. Plan your route.
It’s so much easier to grab that bargain with good preparation. Put the items you want/need into priority order and work your way around the shops in your head so you know where you want to head to first.
6. Shopping Online
My website and Facebook page will keep you up to date with all the latest bargains, sales and offers. You won’t need to battle the shops, you can use voucher codes to make your purchase even cheaper and you won’t have to worry about taking the kid’s out with you – especially if your kids want every toy they see and a McDonalds for lunch.
Try not to impulse buy. Just because it is a massive saving doesn’t mean you have to buy it. If you don’t think you will use it or it won’t do for a birthday present through the year it’s a pointless buy. It’s an expensive habit you will get yourself in to too.
If your children are anything like mine, then they will hate walking around the shops for hours on end, unless it’s toy shops! Try and arrange for someone to look after the kids while you go for a few hours of retail therapy. Most places will be mega busy in the run up to Christmas and they will only get pushed and shoved, whinge and want to buy everything in sight.
10. Stay calm
This is more for Black Friday, however, it can come in handy for all sale events. If someone grabs the last handbag on the shelf that you had been planning on buying, then there’s no need to go kicking and screaming, no one wants another repeat of some Black Friday scenes we saw last year. Also think of the staff. They probably won’t get much time off in the run up to Christmas and would much rather be at home spending time with their families than listening to squabbles or rude customers.
11. Take a break …
Shopping is tiring work so remember to stop for a break. A quick bite to eat and a cup of tea or water will keep you going strong all day. Wear comfy shoes and remember, the average 2 hour shopping trip can burn around 300 calories!
12. Your Rights
If you’re buying items in a sale, find out your rights on returning the item. Faulty goods can be returned in a sale, but not all items can be returned because ‘it didn’t fit when you got it home’.
13. Use Your Debit or Credit Card.
Try to pay on credit or debit card wherever possible. This gives you more rights should something go wrong with the item. Even if you pay part card part cash. For example, you were buying an item for £100 and you decided to pay £99 in cash and £1 on your credit card, you would have better protection if anything went wrong with your purchase.
14. Helpful Regulations
When buying online you have 14 days to return the item, no matter what the exchange or return reason. This is due to “The Distance Selling Regulations”.
As well as my top tips, one good thing to do around Christmas is book a holiday. The days around Christmas Day itself are when people are usually far too busy to think about booking a holiday, so the prices drop quite a bit, so take the time to book that escape in the sun!
16. Supermarket Tips
One thing I wouldn’t do is plan a short break away to shop the sales. Most towns are lucky enough to have big shopping centres close by so there’s no reason to go anywhere else,
Supermarkets will reduce all their Christmas range including groceries on Boxing day. You will find decorations from 5p, Christmas trees from £1 and all the Christmas food such a sweets, turkeys and the party range from as little as 20p so now is a good time to stock up. The sweets could be perfect for your children’s birthday parties.