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Dragons’ Den star Sarah Willingham’s Christmas saving tips

Written by: Sarah Willingham
Sarah Willingham, entrepreneur and star of BBC Two’s Dragons’ Den, shares her top tips on making a frugal Christmas more fun.

Christmas is a very expensive period, with the average Brit estimated to spend around £1,490 this year. But in order to end the holiday in as high spirits as when you started, it is important to budget effectively – and make savvy savings wherever possible.

We asked entrepreneur, investor, personal finance expert and TV star, Sarah Willingham, for her top Christmas money saving tips.

Suggest Secret Santa

If you have lots of different groups to buy presents for – work colleagues, school friends, aunts and uncles – it is worth suggesting Secret Santa. Set a budget, pull names out of a hat, and encourage people to get creative. It really is a fun way to spend less – and you’ll probably end up with more interesting gifts.

Don’t give in to pressure
Kids always want what their friends have but try not to give in to pressure from them. Set a budget, discuss it with them and make sure you stick to it. You will also be touching them some useful tips around money management. Other parents in their class at school will be doing the exact same thing so don’t think you have to keep up with the Jones’ either.

All that glitters…

Glittering lights really do get us all in the Christmas spirit. Whether it be a modest Christmas tree or fairy lights, remember that these decorations will add to your energy costs. To cut down on bills – just make sure you turn your Christmas lights off when you’re not there or install an automated socket timer.

 Make your presents matter

There’s a great saying about shopping for presents for your children, buy them “something they want, something they need, something they wear and something they read.” Save some of your January sales shopping by choosing presents such as sports equipment or stationery which will be useful for the new school term.

Shop Small

Don’t forget to support small businesses on your local high street this Christmas. If you have an American Express card you can get a £5 statement credit when you spend £10 or more in one transaction from 5 – 20 December. It is a great way of supporting your local smaller shops and also rewards you while you’re buying your Christmas presents or when catching up with friends over dinner.

Sarah Willingham is an ambassador for American Express Shop Small




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