If you’re anything like me, you’ll probably come across some unexpected expenses in the run-up to Christmas. There’s always something that you will need some extra cash for, such some foodie treats, days out over the festive period or simply some extra fuel money so that you can travel to your family home for the big day.
The key to saving money for Christmas is to not really feel like you’re saving – and then you’ll be surprised when you look at your festive fund and discover that you managed to put aside more than you realised. Here are some easy ways to start putting some money aside for Christmas now, so that you’ll be much more prepared when December rolls around…
LOOK AFTER THE PENNIES
This is such a simple idea and you really won’t notice the money you’re putting aside in this way: get yourself a piggy bank. Or a jar, or a box, or even just an envelope. Somewhere that you can put any loose change you have. And actually DO put your loose change in there!
Whenever you spend any cash between now and Christmas, put the change into that savings pot. It can be as little as 2p leftover from a 98p purchase, or it could be the £1.85 change when you grab a loaf of bread and pint of milk. If you put it all aside, that change will all add up by the time you get to Christmas.
Even easier, you don’t have to keep track of each purchase you make – simply empty your wallet of all your change when you get home each day. Pop it into the piggy bank and the next time you go out you’ll be starting on another crisp note so you’ll be getting some more change then too.
SKIP THE NON-ESSENTIALS
If there’s something that you buy on a regular basis but that you could really do without – such as a morning coffee, a newspaper or a chocolate bar on the way home – can you skip it? Could you make your own or read the news with an app? BUT don’t just give up your regular purchases without physically seeing the benefit of doing so.
Instead, when you decide not to buy something, actually take that £3 for the coffee out of your purse and put it in the piggy bank with the rest of your change. Or, if you would usually pay by card, log into your banking app and transfer the amount (even if it’s just 85p for the local paper) from your current account into a savings account. All the small amounts will soon add up so it’s worth doing it every time.
START SHOPPING NOW
You’re not saving actual cash in this instance but you are cutting the costs that you’ll experience in December if you start buying things for Christmas now. Just picking up the occasional present or roll of gift wrap here and there won’t drain your funds all at once and will mean that you have less to buy in December.
So, technically, each time you buy a box of Christmas cards or a pack of dried fruit for your Christmas cake, that’s like saving a pound or two right now. It spreads the cost of Christmas and means there are fewer items you’ll need to buy with your piggy bank savings on when you get to the end of the year.
SAVE YOUR £2 COINS
This is a tip from my mother, who has always saved up for Christmas by putting aside any £2 coins that she gets during the year. Make it a rule that, if you’re given a £2 coin as change, you don’t spend it and you’ll save it for Christmas instead. Because you get them less often than a £1 coin, you won’t feel like you’re constantly having to put cash aside and it becomes a bit exciting when you do come across a £2 coin! Plus, the larger value helps to boost your savings fund considerably.
I hope these tips have been helpful and please do let me know how you like to put aside money for Christmas? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below. 🙂