Dashing through the store, on a hectic, busy day, savings shrinking quickly, cringing all the way! If this jingle sounds familiar, then you know that Christmas can be a tough time on our finances. And if you think it’s too late to come up with a Christmas savings plan, think again because we have eight money saving hacks to help cut the cost of Christmas.
Scrap Christmas cards.
One easy way to save on cash (and paper) is to cut buying Christmas cards from your to-do list and instead opt to spread joy this festive season via recorded messages. And with the help of editing tools like iMovie, you can get creative with different filters, sounds or images.
Don't be afraid to price match.
If you ever needed a reason to shop around on gifts, this is it. Depending on the retailer, they may be willing to price match if you find the same item for a lower price at another store. Many stores will also try to beat their competitor’s price (generally by 10%) or will even provide a refund of the price difference, so turn up armed with a competitor’s catalogue, ready to negotiate.
Head online for discounts.
Regardless of how often you shop online, there’s one rule you need to practise as much as possible: never pay full price. The internet is filled with websites, like Groupon that offers coupons, discount codes and vouchers that you can use to do your gift shopping. Subscribing or getting on a retailer’s mailing list is also a good idea, as you’ll be the first to know if any items drop in price.
Use your rewards points.
You know those rewards points you’ve haven’t touched the entire year? Now is the best time to use them! Depending on your rewards card, you’ll be able to score gift vouchers and other retail rewards that can be put towards Christmas gifts. And if you’ve got a bundle of frequent flyer points lying around and don’t have any plans to travel, surprise a family member by transferring your points to them.
Redeem cashback offers.
While we’re on the subject of credit cards, many providers offer cashback incentives around this time of year, so why not use them and give your savings account a little rest. Just make sure that you’re able to repay the balance in full each month so that your shopping is interest free.
Make your own Christmas hampers.
Rather than dropping a bundle on multiple hampers, save some cash by making your own! Designing your own Christmas hampers also gives you the opportunity for customisation by adding in bits and pieces of the recipient's favourite treats. Theming your hampers might be another approach, for instance, having one dedicated to sweet and the other to savoury. And if the recipient isn't that big of a foodie, design the hamper around a hobby or interest of theirs.
Ask your family to consider a potluck Christmas lunch.
Preparing Christmas lunch can get a little overwhelming if you come from a big family and like to keep to a budget. If you are a little strapped for cash this year or simply want to try something new, ask your family members to consider a potluck Christmas lunch this year. This way, you’ll dramatically cut down your grocery bill and will have a bit of everything on your dining table.
Enlist the help of apps.
I don’t know about you, but shopping of any kind brings on an adrenaline rush that can get a little difficult to control - leading you to overspend. Before you begin your Christmas shopping, you’ll need to determine a budget along with how much you intend to spend per gift. Luckily, free apps like Santa’s Bag allow you to punch in your budget, the list of gifts you’d like to buy (and their price) plus, the stores you’ll be purchasing them from.