I know, I know…it seems like only yesterday we were down at the beach playing in the sand, enjoying long summer evenings in the garden with a glass of something cold, a paddling pool and an ice lolly or two. Then September came and went in the blink of an eye and now we’re in full Autumnal mode, with November on the horizon!
For some of us Christmas shopping has already started and for the rest of us well, we can’t quite bring ourselves to indulge in Christmas planning just yet! However, as most families work to a tight budget each month, it’s always a good idea to start saving for your family Christmas as early as you can.
I’m not talking about putting away a lump sum every month (although this will help!), I’m talking about ways you can save a little money each month on the things you already have and do. Read on for 4 ways to save.
Focus on your debts
We all have some kind of debt. And as Christmas is a time of indulgence and often high pressure, its tempting to break out the credit card and worry about the consequences next month. My advice is to make considerable progress in paying off your current debts in the run up to Christmas. Get up to date with your credit card payments, pay off (or make payments towards) outstanding council tax debts – click here to find out more about attachment of earnings – store cards and other forms of debt that are hanging over you.
You don’t have to pay them all off within a month – although that would be amazing – just taking a little more control of your finances gives you a little more breathing room in the run up to the most expensive time of the year. You’ll also see how much you have to work with and buy within your means!
Resist the takeaway
When a family takeaway on a Saturday night can cost a minimum of £40, consider kicking your takeaway habit and putting the money towards your Christmas fund instead! Try recreating your favourite takeaways at home, or maybe have one just takeaway a month instead. You’ll be astounded at the amount you can save!
Head to a discount supermarket
As parents we all know the burden of the weekly food bill. So, consider shopping at a discount supermarket instead to save a little bit more money. Aldi and Lidl are the best places to start – the kids probably won’t even notice the difference, but your bank account will! Don’t forget to pick up a few Christmas treats while you’re in there.
Your TV subscriptions
We all have them. But do we use all of them? With so much great TV out there it’s common for households to have more than one TV service subscription. £7 a month here and £5 a month there might not sound like a lot but add them all together and the total might shock you. Decide which subscription services you can live without for a couple of months and save the money instead.