It’s Christmas, let’s spend, spend, spend! Or maybe not. Although ‘tis the season and we all want to spoil our loved ones and splash out on lots of extra special treats, should we do so? Debt is at an all time high and we are spending more than ever before but are we any happier? Equally the numbers of people suffering stress and anxiety due to money worries and debts has also rocketed. This is something that needs to be addressed so here are 7 ways you can save money and be a happier and savvier shopper this Christmas.

 

 

 

Save money by reducing the list of people you need to buy for

 

Recently I read this blog and watched the video by Martin Lewis and it really struck a chord with me as I think sometimes we don’t buy presents because we want to, we just feel a certain obligation to do so because someone has bought a gift for us. It may sound a touch controversial but should we buy a present for others just because they have bought us something? Absolutely not. By reducing the amount of unnecessary presents we buy for others, we can save money and save ourselves a whole host of stress in the process.

 

Go shopping with a list and stick to it

 

I’m terrible at this. It’s so difficult to stick to a list when there are so many fabulous potential purchases on offer particularly at Christmas time! However as savvy shoppers, we should go shopping with a list on a regular basis so why not at Christmas too? Decide who you are buying for and only buy the number of items on your list.

 

 

Save money by setting a clear budget and stick to it

 

It’s the thought that counts. It shouldn’t matter whether you’ve spent £50 or £5 on a present. Of course it’s lovely to be able to splash out on your nearest and dearest at Christmas time but eventually bills will need paying so  spending beyond your means will just come back right back at you in the long run. Be honest with yourself and others, buy only what you can afford.

 

Compare prices and avoid being taken in by ‘special offers’

 

I’m always dubious of ‘special offers’ and ‘discounts’ particularly at Christmas so it pays to do your homework just as you would usually do before making a purchase and also to do some price comparisons. It’s also useful to make a note of terms and conditions when buying something so that you’re not caught out by a non- return policy if you change your mind about a choice of gift.

 

 

Meal plan to the very last bean

 

it’s not just present shopping where we can look to make a few savings. There’s a tendency at Christmas to go overboard and super stock larders for fear of possible starvation during the one day of closure! Meal planning to the very last bean to avoid unnecessary waste is more important then ever at Christmas and even more so when you consider that some families will be sitting down to something far less than a traditional Christmas roast.

 

Don’t do any online shopping when you’ve had a glass of wine or three

 

This is another thing I’m terribly guilty of. If you have a wine glass in one hand then make sure your keyboard mouse is not in the other. Goodness knows what purchases you will end up with and it might not be that easy to cancel orders or make any changes.

 

 

 

Complain if the product or service you have purchased falls short of expectations

 

Christmas or not, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 is your friend when it comes to getting value for money so if something is not as described, not fit for purpose and not of satisfactory quality or a service is not delivered with reasonable care and skill then you are within your rights to seek redress.

 

All of the above might seem a bit bah humbug but wouldn’t it just be nice for once to rock into the New Year in the black as opposed to the red? The seemingly ETERNAL wait for January payday won’t seem half as long and Blue Monday won’t be quite as blue. When it comes down to it, what makes you happier at Christmas? The money you spend or the people you spend it on?

Wishing you all a very happy and savvy Christmas! Cin cin!

 

 

Why does Christmas start so early?

When Halloween has barely passed.

Why am I less prepared than ever?

The time just goes so fast.

Next year I’m going to buy

My presents in the sales

Post things when I want to

So I’m not a hostage of Royal Mail.

 

The shops are far too busy

There’s too much going on

There’s nowhere to hide

From all the Christmas songs.

It’s the season to be jolly

The most wonderful time of the year.

Everyone is smiling

Full of Christmas cheer.

 

But I’m not feeling the love

When I’ve spent hours trailing round

Searching for presents

That just don’t want to be found.

Off then to Asdas for a food shop

Must stock up for the big day

Fill the larder full of stuff

Which we won’t eat anyway.

 

The tree needs to go up

Just need to untangle all the lights.

I’ve adjusted all the baubles

But it still doesn’t look right.

On my list for next year

Will be a Christmas just for one

Because with far less to do

I’ve got more chance of getting it done.

 

 

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