2017 seems to have hurtled passed at a great rate of knots and Christmas will be upon us once again in a few short weeks. It’s that time of year when budgets are under pressure and over-spending can leave many families facing financial strain in the New Year.
But the good news is that - believe it or not - there are actually lots of things you can do to spread that Christmas cheer but still stick to your budget this year and even save money at Christmas time. Here are our top five tips.
ALWAYS start with a list
If you head out to the shops with no list, odds are you’ll end up buying things you didn’t mean to and then before you know it your budget has turned into the invisible man. It sounds simple but if you write down the name of everyone you need to buy for and put the amount you want to spend against each of them, you’re far more likely to stick to your plan.
ALWAYS check prices online
Once you’ve found that perfect something to give as a gift to someone on your list, try to resist the urge to buy it there and then. Check eBay, Gumtree and online comparison sites to see if you can get it cheaper online (but don’t forget to factor in postage costs). There’s still plenty of time before Christmas to get it delivered.
Head to your local outlet precinct
There’s absolutely no excuse for paying full retail unless you’ve got loads of cash to spare or you’ve left everything to the absolute last minute. Now is a good time to head to your local outlet precinct and hunt down those super bargains. You’ll end up with cheap Christmas gifts that are big on value.
Think about DIY
DIY doesn’t mean cheap and nasty, and there are loads of things you can make or pull together for friends and family that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Here are a few of our favourite DIY Christmas gifts:
Use those reward points you’ve been accumulating
There are a plethora of reward schemes out there and you’re probably a member of more than a few. Make sure you check your rewards balances and find out what you can do with them – it’s much better to use them up and save your cash now than to keep hold of them for yet another year unless you’re saving them up for something special.
If all else fails
If you do end up blowing your budget this Christmas we’ve got you covered. Just check out our flexible mini-loans to find out how quick and easy it is to get your hands on some extra funds. Once a loan is approved, we can usually get a payment into your bank account within 24 hours — so you can recover from that budget mishap with a simple payment plan.