You won’t be alone if you are worrying about the cost of Christmas this year.
Although the government has taken some steps to help us deal with rising bills, we’re still all spending a lot more than we used to keeping our homes running, as the cost of living continues to spiral.
But saving money at Christmas doesn’t mean you have to turn into Scrooge.
With a bit of creativity and a focus on the things that matter most, it'll still be possible to have fun and make the most of the celebrations.
Here’s a few ideas to get you started.
Trimming the gift list.
It’s easy to go overboard with present buying but trimming your gift list is an easy way to cut costs. Just talk it through with friends and family first so there’s no awkwardness on the big day.
- Ask your family or friends what they want if you aren’t sure. If they say not to worry about gifts, take them at their word.
- Bear in mind lots of family and friends will be facing similar pressures.
- Many people will value the time they spend with you over the festive season far more than the value of any present under the tree.
Getting close to Christmas and wondering where your money’s going?
Our expense tracker feature within the app, could tell you everything you need to know.
You could categorise your outgoings and set up a personalised view of your spending and how you’re doing against the budgets you’ve set.
Our App can be used on compatible iOS and Android devices. You'll need a UK or international mobile number in specific countries. Spending Tracker is available to customers aged 16+ who have a Personal or Premier account with us.
Cut the cost of prezzies
Beyond shopping around for the best deals, there are a number of other ways to save.
Organise a whip-round.
Get together to treat teachers, coaches and activity leaders – you’ll all spend less individually, and the person will still get a gift they’ll appreciate.
Think about homemade gifts.
You don’t have to be arty or a good cook. Chocolate truffles are dead easy – just get some nice gift boxes for a professional finish.
Avoid prank gifts.
Focus your spending on gifts people will really value rather than ‘joke’ gifts that quickly become clutter.
Too good to be true?
Always be careful about online deals that seem too good to be true – they probably are, if they exist at all. And it’s easy to fall for delivery scams when you’re doing a lot of online shopping.
Check out our Security Centre for lots of ways to keep safe from scammers this Christmas.
Get crafty this Christmas
It’s all too easy to spend a fortune on wrapping, gift tags and so on. Making your own can be good fun and it adds a personal touch.
You never know, it might even turn into a new Christmas tradition.
- A roll of brown paper might look dull, but you can easily liven it up with crafty stuff like stamps, ribbons and stickers.
- The same goes for DIY Christmas decorations. You might be surprised at what you can make and there’s plenty of inspiration online. Think wreaths, tree ornaments, and stockings.
- There are lots of ways to brighten your home on a budget. Check out this Christmas DIY's On A Budget video or DIY Christmas Decorations video for some creative ideas.
Switch up your festive plans
Christmas markets. Illuminated gardens. Wreath-making evenings. There’s a never-ending list of fun excuses to go out over the festive season, no longer just a night out in town or a trip to the panto. These attractions are all after our attention – and money.
Rather than going somewhere because it’s what you always do, this year talk to friends and family to prioritise what you’ll enjoy most. Then look at ways to trim back together.
Easy switch one
Swap a trip to see a festive film at the cinema for an extra special movie night at home with friends.
Easy switch two
Swap a pricey dinner with friends in a restaurant for sharing platters or nibbles in your favourite bar.
There are so many ways to save money on everything from presents to New Year celebrations, but one of the most helpful things can actually be to just talk to your loved ones.
It might feel a bit embarrassing sharing your concerns with friends and family, but you may well find they have similar worries too. And even if they don’t, they won’t want to add to your stress.
Together it will be much easier to come up with a plan to celebrate Christmas, without spending too much or storing up problems for the New Year.
If you're worried about money, don't let it ruin your Christmas.
We're here to help and talk about any financial issues you have, whether it’s consolidating debt or making card payments.