Christmas is on the way, and we know for many it can be a financial burden. There are many ways that you can work to a budget for Christmas, and we’ve here to share our 5 favourite tips!

  1. Make a list of who you’re shopping for – and don’t wander off it! With a list, it’s much easier to make sure you don’t overspend, or get tempted to just buy “a little something” for someone else. It all adds up after all doesn’t it? Look through your list, allocate a budget and any ideas for each person, and stick to it.
  2. Start early! We know, everyone jokes about talking about Christmas early but, you can start shopping early and save some money. One of our staff members is out on Boxing Day buying Christmas cards and wrapping paper for the next year, it’s all 50% off or more. Hit the Boxing Day sales for toiletries, Boots often have a 50% sale – and it doesn’t go off. So many families swap toiletries every year and when the prices plummet on Boxing Day, it’s wrenching. Another tip would be, keep a keen eye on the best before dates. Boxes of Quality Streets are £2.50 in August, and hike up to £6 or £7 for Christmas – don’t get us started on Terry’s Chocolate Orange. So, start early, and keep a keen eye.
  3. Make your own Christmas gifts – this is a great little way to save money, and can often mean so much more to the person receiving the gift as well. One of our staff members last year knitted a scarf for their best friend – it was a new skill, the wool cost about £4 and she borrowed the needles. The scarf would probably have cost £20 in a shop, and yes we know there is a time investment but what’s more cosy than knitting on an autumnal evening?
  4. Start planning your budget well in advance – it is so easy to ignore Christmas (and birthdays, and weddings) when you plan your monthly budget, but don’t! When we’re all getting a bit of a tan from the summer sun, start budgeting for Christmas.
  5. Even better, open a Christmas savings account with Smart Money Cymru and put money into your account every month. We even lock the account so you can’t get access until the 1st of November each year – no temptation, and a fantastic saving over the course of 11 months to help with your Christmas shopping.

Have you got any favourite tips on how to do Christmas on a budget? We’d love to hear them!