While Christmas is a time for giving, it is most definitely also a time for spending. If you haven’t already started planning your Christmas expenditure you will shortly – and once you’ve begun you’ll join the rest of the population in racking up a communal Christmas bill of some £33 billion.
So what can you do about it? Assuming cancelling Christmas is not an option, there are some ways that you can save cash as you go – not just in finding out where the bargains are, but in the way you spend and when you spend.
MoneyExpert.com brings you its top Christmas money saving tips to keep you going ’til the New Year:
1. AVOID STORE CARDS
Don’t be fooled by the 10% off, the free cashmere scarf or the promise of exclusive deals next year. If you buy with a store card you’ll be borrowing money at the most expensive rate going. The average APR on store cards is a staggering 24.4% – a shopper putting an average £1,270 on a card this festive season could unnecessarily incur annual interest of up to £234 more on the average storecard than if they chose a typical credit card. Compare purchase credit cards here for a better bet.
2. DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT YOUR VOUCHERS
In the face of tough competition from online stores, high street shops have been distributing money-off vouchers left, right and centre. Many stores, such as House of Fraser and Debenhams, have launched short-term sales with price cuts of up to 30%. Gap, Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge have been giving away vouchers offering huge savings. Watch out for them – and ask your friends for tips if you want to grab a bargain.
3. GO FOR CASHBACK
You may not be able to avoid the expense of Christmas, but you can be rewarded for forking out. There are some good cashback credit card deals on the market at the moment, offering up to 5% cashback on all purchases made on the card. Time is short however, so apply asap – it’ll take a while for the application to go through so you might have to wait to use the card in the January sales. Either way, if you’re planning a spending spree, you may as well get something back for the effort. Compare cashback cards here
4. GO ONLINE
Online stores can offer great savings, so compare any prices you see on the high street with a comparable retailer online. Many internet deals are still offering delivery in time for Christmas.
The internet is also a great place to compare your financial products as the high-spending festive period approaches. If you’re in the market for a credit card or loan, MoneyExpert.com will compare the market in seconds, giving you independent advice.
5. DON’T GET CARRIED AWAY!
The bottom line is you should only spend what you can afford. It’s too easy to spend, spend, spend, and then think later. Work out what you can afford on Christmas and stick to it.