The festive period is upon us and if you are anything like me, you will be desperately researching ways to make savings this year, having tried and failed once again to build a savings pot big enough to cover Christmas. There are countless ways to make your money go further at Christmas, but with time running out, here are our 5 top tips:
1. Cashback and Reward credit cards
Consider taking out a Cashback or Reward credit card. Many credit cards come with generous rewards and the additional benefit of up to 60 days interest-free. A cashback credit card can help to free up cashflow whilst simultaneously providing cashback and rewards, often for spending money at retailers you would have bought from anyway, especially in the run-up to Christmas. However, a cashback credit card isn't for everyone, and should ideally be cleared in full each month. If this isn't realistic, then you should think carefully before you take one out. Check out our article comparing the best cashback and reward credit cards to help you decide which one may be most suitable for you.
2. Budget effectively
Setting and sticking to a budget can relieve any unnecessary stress and means that you don't have to resort to taking out additional credit and go into debt this Christmas. If you have a good handle of your finances and understand exactly how much you can spend, it is likely you will make rational choices and won't be tempted to make impulse buys. Nothing can be gained from burying your head in the sand, so check out our articles "How to budget for beginners" and "The best budgeting apps in the UK - how to budget without trying" for a guide to setting up your own budget and the best tools available on your mobile to help you.
3. Check if it's cheaper
Shop around. If you see something you like, see if it is cheaper elsewhere before you succumb to that tempting impulse purchase. A quick check on Amazon should give you the basic average price for a product - but, don't just stop there. There are useful websites and browser extensions such as Honey that can do the hard work for you. Plus, you can make use of Black Friday sales across the High Street - from Curry's to Boots to Argos - to get generous discounts on expensive gifts such as tech, which could make for a great present at a better-than-expected price.
4. Cash in your supermarket points
If you regularly shop in a supermarket, it's likely you've been slowly and steadily building up reward points over the year. Christmas is a great time to cash in those points, as there are often additional offers on the build up to christmas. And, of course, it's never too late to start using a loyalty card and start collecting those supermarket points for the next big occasion. Head to our round-up of the best supermarket loyalty cards to find out which ones give you the best perks and value for money.
5. Start saving for next year
While this won't help you out this Christmas, you'll thank me next year! Imagine not having to frantically search for articles like this one, safe in the knowledge that you've got Christmas covered. Check out our 25 money saving tips that could save you thousands over the course of the year, leaving you with plenty to tuck away for that Christmas budget. And, for even more tips and tricks to help you for the next festive season, check out our 8 easy ways to budget for Christmas.