Just 10% of Brits expect spending to come in under budget at Christmas, along with any debt accumulated hanging around well into the following year.
What simple steps can you take to do your Christmas shopping on a budget, without looking like the Grinch?
How much should I spend at Christmas?
UK households are expected to spend over £800 each on Christmas preparation. Presents will make up nearly £500 of that and over half of parents plan to splash out on a ‘gasp out loud’ big budget gift in 2017.
Looking for Christmas shopping tips? This handy infographic from Choose Wisely explains exactly how to get the best bang for your buck when you’re buying presents this year.
It’s a good idea to try out budgeting apps and prepaid cards to help manage the cost of Christmas. These let you set a spending limit and help you to stick to it, however don’t just jump at the first intriguing offer you come across.
You’ll probably get the best deal on prepaid cards by shopping around and using comparison websites. With budgeting apps, beware of filling in your banking details – this Dumbfunded article will help you stay safe.
Eating on the cheap
Christmas food is the second biggest household cost after presents and Brits spend more on it than France, Germany, Italy or Spain.
Whilst the infographic above takes you step by step through the simple way to buy good value festive food, there’s also much to be said for using discount retailers.
You might be surprised by the high quality of budget supermarket products – Did you know that Aldi’s champagne beat Laurent-Perrier in a blind taste test last year?
Don’t get cheated at the Christmas checkout
Store cards are everywhere nowadays, and there’s good reason for it. Retailers can make a quick profit by getting you to sign up.
Just like overpriced chewing gum and batteries, store cards are often pushed at the tills, and they’re probably not going to be good for your wallet.
Price comparison websites show a big selection of 0% introductory purchase rate and rewards cards which could help you find a much better deal.
5 top Christmas money saving tips
1. Look for cheap travel options
If long distance travel is on your Christmas checklist and you don’t have a car, shop around early to get the cheapest prices.
2. Weed out crafty charges
Looked at a bank statement recently? Try going through one in detail to identify any charges you weren’t expecting. Are you paying for Netflix, Spotify or Evernote, but don’t use it?
Has someone skimmed your card and used it elsewhere? Challenge yourself to find £15 savings per month – that’s a huge £180 a year!
3. Save money by buying after Christmas
Looking for really early Christmas shopping ideas that could help save you money in 2018? Big garden centres and DIY stores like Homebase have a huge Christmas decorations clearout at the end of December.
It’s great value, however make sure you set a budget to avoid spending too much cash.
4. Get crafty with cards and gifts
If you’ve got a big Christmas card list, you can save a bundle by buying craft supplies at stores such as The Works and Wilkos, then making a big batch by yourself or with your kids.
If that goes well, consider doing the same for some of your Christmas presents.
5. Get a big bonus by switching banks
There are big incentives for switching bank accounts before Christmas, and it’s quick and easy with the Current Account Switch Service. Compare rewards and reviews on the Choose Wisely bank accounts comparison table.