It’s inevitable – every single year I plan to start saving early for Christmas and before I realise it there is only one ‘proper’ payday left before the big day, and I haven’t given Christmas budgeting a second thought. On the plus side, this means that over the years I have had to become resourceful to get all my shopping done without re-mortgaging the house and so have a few tricks up my sleeve! Here are my top three…
Good old eBay
I admit this may not be the most revolutionary idea you’ve come across, but it is definitely an ‘oldie but goodie’ option. And with the age of Smart Phones it is easier than ever to sell items on eBay. You can literally snap a picture on your phone and upload it straight to the app to start the auction right away. Yes there’s the effort of having to package everything and take a trip to the post office, but if you sell in bulk and time it right you won’t have to make multiple trips. If you think you don’t have anything to sell you might be surprised; I’ve sold items such as an old pair of Ugg boots with a hole in, broken ornaments and even an empty (designer) shoe box! It’s quick money too as you can chose your auction length to be 1,3,5,7 or 10 days (although personally I recommended at least 3). Bonus tip: as a buyer I can find postage prices off-putting so when listing items I tend to offer free P&P and start the auction at the cost it will be for me to send it in the mail, so that at the very worst I break even.
Not just for the £5 novelty office gift! If you have a big group or friends or large family a Secret Santa can be a great way to save money for everybody without forgoing presents completely. After all, Christmas isn’t actually about the presents anyway and surely quality is better than quantity? My family have been doing a Secret Santa for the past few years, each year setting a budget that suits everyone. The ‘secret’ element adds to the fun and I also find I put a lot more thought into the gift giving when I’m buying for one person instead of many.
Swap out a luxury for a month
This isn’t a ‘Christmas season exclusive’ tip but every year in the lead up to December I try and save a bit of cash by making a small lifestyle change. This year it has been coffee. I am a coffee addict and cannot function at work unless I’ve had my morning fix. And the instant variety won’t do which means I usually spend more than I’d like to admit on ‘proper’ Barista style coffee each month. I managed to get an at home coffee maker in a half price offer at House of Fraser a few months ago (it’s the Dolce Gusto in case you’re intersted) and cost of the machine aside, I worked out I have been saving over £40 per month by using this every morning instead of a trip to Costa! This is definitely a change I’m going to keep going well past the festive season. I bet everyone has a similar swap they could make, even if it saves enough money to buy one Christmas present or even to pay for one extra drink at a Christmas party!
Any tips for me? Let me know in the comments!