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 6 top tips
- Cashback / Reward Credit Cards - Consider taking out a Cashback or Reward credit card. Many credit cards come with generous rewards and an 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. 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 'Compare the best cashback and reward credit cards'.
- Budget effectively - Setting and sticking to a budget can relieve any unnecessary stress and mean that you don't 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 article 'The best budgeting apps in the UK - how to budget without trying'.
- Cheap travel - If you are travelling by train or plane this year, book your tickets early to take advantage of any discounts. There are also a variety of railcards that you can purchase that give you up to a third off travel, check out our article 'How to get cheap rail tickets'. Consider split-ticketing, where you break up your journey in order to make savings and if you are delayed on your journey, make sure you check if you are due any compensation.
- Check if it's cheaper - Shop around. If you see something you like, see if it is cheaper elsewhere. A quick check on Amazon should give you the basic average price for a product but don't just stop at Amazon. There are websites and browser extensions such as Honey that can do the hard work for you. Lastly, don't forget to haggle; if you don't ask you don't get.
- Cash in your supermarket points - If you regularly shop in a supermarket, it is likely you have 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 such as double-up vouchers, where you can double the points in exchange for a voucher. Don't forget that food banks get busy at this time of year and so why not use any leftover points to purchase some items for those that struggle at this time of year.
- 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 such as this one, safe in the knowledge that you've got Christmas covered. Check out our article 'Best savings apps in the UK - how to build a savings pot using your smartphone'.