Five ways to ensure you’re in the money this Christmas
It may seem a bit premature to start thinking about Christmas during the summer holiday but, believe it or not, the season of yuletide joy is actually right around the corner.
It won’t be long until the nights start to draw in, the clocks go back and before you know it any trip into town will involve being inundated with Christmas decorations galore. If you’re one of those people who always leaves things to the last minute and ends up scraping around for cash come December, you may well want to take a look at our guide to ensuring you have all the readies you need when the year’s best holiday arrives.
Set up a savings account
If you are determined to save for Christmas every year but just don’t have the discipline then why not set up a savings account? We all want to put a little a side but when it comes down to it, it’s all too easy to start dipping in and before you know it, you’re counting down the days until payday. It has never been easier to set up a savings account, especially since internet banking is more accessible than ever. This means you can transfer money into your savings with great ease and once it’s in there, the likelihood is that it will stay there.
If you make sure you put a decent amount in each month, you could well get all your Christmas presents sorted with what you have saved. Alternatively, you could just spend it on all the scrummy food and drink that Christmas usually represents. The choice is yours!
Check out the budget supermarkets
Behind the usual expenses such as rent, utilities and travel, food usually comes top of everyone’s ‘money out’ list. If you don’t already, it may well be a good idea for you to check out the likes of Aldi and Lidl in the run up to Christmas as a weekly or monthly shop can be dramatically reduced as a result.
There seems to be a lot of stigma around these shops even though they are recording record sales these days, with some thinking that they are low quality. However, food items from these ‘budget’ supermarkets regularly win awards and beat the likes of Tesco and Sainsbury’s in taste tests. So, if you are spending a lot on food, you could save you some much needed Christmas spends by giving these stores a go.
In fact, many people have started doing the much feared Christmas big shop at these supermarkets, saving a fortune on their turkey, chocolates and booze. If you’re looking for some extra cash this Christmas, a trip to one of these low frills stores could well be the answer – you could well be pleasantly surprised.
Get a second job
Although this may sound inconceivable to some, getting a second job in the run up to Christmas is something that many people turn to. Many of us may have a second talent which has earned us money in the past, whether at University or simply as youngsters. You may have done some DJ-ing, worked in a bar, done some manual labour or even taught music or a second language. Why not put a few extra hours in of an evening and generate some extra cash?
Of course, you may have to pay a little extra cash and you could find yourself pretty shattered when it comes to bed time but sometimes these things have to be done. If it means a few extra Christmas presents or extra cash in your bank account, a bit of extra graft could well pay dividends.
With Christmas being the busiest time of year for the majority of industries, there will be no shortage of job opportunities available so this could be something well worth more than a few minutes thought.
Streamline your outgoings
Similarly to your food bill, your other monthly outgoings could well do with a bit of attention and could save you some significant cash during the countdown to Christmas. With price comparison websites now all over the place and lots of other resources available online and offline, there is a whole host of outgoings you can take a look at with a view to saving cash.
From car insurance and your electricity to your mobile phone contract or even your water bill, it is worth taking a look at absolutely everything you pay out on a monthly basis. Between the lot, you could find yourself with a fair old wedge of extra cash and what better time to use this than at Christmas. You can find more resources regarding this at the Money Advice Service.
Our final tip for saving cash for Christmas 2015 is going on a fitness drive. This is something which could have several positive knock on effects and mean that come the festive period, you can party guilt free.
Going to the gym and exercising usually means that you are not out drinking and eating rubbish and generally, this is a pretty cheap affair. Fresh fruit and vegetables are not expensive if you find the right places, so as well as feeling great you could well find more money available for Christmas.
If you devise a strict regime of hitting the gym and eating healthy, you could save serious money every week and by the time the Christmas break arrives, you will be in the shape of your life. So why not plan a few months of smoothies, running and weights just before December, you may well find you are more physically and mentally prepared for Christmas than you ever have been in your life!
There you have it, there are our top five tips for saving money in time for Christmas 2015. Why not give them a go and see how much you can save. You can find more fantastic resources just like these or our tips and guides on saving money.
Let us know your thoughts below on other ways we could get ready for the festive period.