Many of us are planning to have a thrifty Christmas this year rather than blow the budget.
In fact, 71% of people are making big cutbacks, a survey from AA Financial Services has found.
It’s not hard to see why some are reining back, given that, according to separate research from American Express, people expect the festive season to cost up to an average £1,522 in total.
Here are some ideas if you’re looking for inspiration to keep the costs down…
Make a list
Laura Laidlaw, head of customer communications at Standard Life, suggests writing down how much you’ll need for food, socialising, and presents.
It’s then much easier to resist impulse spending on unnecessary extras.
Handing over cash when you make your purchases could also help you resist the urge to spend, as it may seem more like “real money” than paying by credit card.
Enjoy an ’appy Christmas
Laura suggests downloading stores’ apps, as many will offer special discounts.
And don’t forget online discount codes and cashback websites which give you money back on what you buy.
Keep a secret
Although, for many people, it’s a fun workplace tradition, Laura suggests Secret Santa is the ideal way for adults in the family to give each other gifts.
If a maximum price is set in advance, this can be an effective way of keeping costs down and you can focus your time on buying a perfect gift within budget.
Ask for help
If you’ve putting on a feast for friends and family over Christmas, asking them to assist could ease your costs. You could suggest guests contribute by bringing drinks, snacks, side dishes or desserts to help spread the costs around.
Give food that’s gone untouched on Christmas Day a tasty makeover by re-using it in pies, soups or with noodles or pasta rather than letting it go to waste.
There are plenty of recipes online for re-using leftovers.
If you’ve been shopping ’til you drop all year, now’s the time to use all those reward points you’ve built up.
More than a third of shoppers plan to use loyalty reward points from retailers for Christmas, redeeming £61 on average across the festive season, according to a survey from Sainsbury’s Bank Credit Cards.
One in 10 plan to use more than £100-worth of loyalty points to put towards shopping this year.
During December last year, Sainsbury’s Bank customers accrued Nectar points worth £1.3 million.
Show 2020 vision
Think ahead and, when stores start selling their Christmas cards and decorations off cheap, snap them up for next year.
Laura also suggests putting away a bit of spare cash into a savings account each month.
By the time next Christmas comes around it could have turned into a sizeable sum.