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Be smart this Christmas – Don’t blow all your wonga on pressies!

Be smart this Christmas – Don’t blow all your wonga on pressies!

There are many predictions flying around about how tough things are going to be financially in 2017 and beyond; such as low interest rates causing problems for savers and rising food, energy and insurance bills.  

But this doesn’t seem to be phasing people who are still planning on spending up to £700 on Christmas presents for their loved ones this year, according to a recent survey by Bobatoo*.

This Christmas it might be tempting to have a spending blow-out before these big price hikes. But consider this… do you really need to spend £700 on presents?  How about you set yourself a target of £500 instead? 

We have some tips below on how you can save on Christmas presents and what you could do with that leftover £200.  Don’t forget Christmas is just one day – make sure you don’t struggle for the next year because of it!
 

  • First off, make a list of people you need to get presents for.  Sometimes it’s a good idea to agree with friends/family if you are going to exchange gifts.  If they are also keen on saving money they will welcome your suggestion of not exchanging gifts this year.  
  • Now split up the budget you have set yourself between the people on your list!  It also helps if you have some gift ideas for each person in that price range that you can jot down.
  • Shop around for the best prices!  A good way to do this is online using 'Google Shopping' search or similar.  Don’t be tempted to get carried away if you see something over your budget – think affordability, not desirability!
  • Consider home-made gifts.  You could create unique gifts by buying a cheap wicker basket and filling it with goodies that person likes. You could also consider home-made Christmas cake or cookies as gifts.  
  • Keep an eye on discount websites such as Group On and Wowcher to see if any gift ideas come up for a fraction of the usual price!
  • Consider giving charity gifts.  For example Guide Dogs for the Blind do a sponsored puppy pack for £1 per week.  Perfect for an animal lover and you also get regular ‘pupdates’ and photos of your puppy’s journey to becoming a life-changing companion.
  • Encourage your ‘present-buying circle’ to consider Secret Santa.  This way you only have to buy one present and the budget is pre-set.  Plus you will end up spending less as you only have to get one present! Genius!


So now you have hopefully saved £200!  Here are some smart things you can do with it:

  1. Stick it in an ISA or savings account – then set up a standing order for an amount you can afford to miss.  By saving £25 per month that’s next Christmas paid for! 
  2. Do you have enough Life Insurance?  £100,000 of cover would cost roughly £7.50 per month**.   Your £200 would pay for the first two years! We have a Life Insurance calculator which tells you how much life cover you need. 
  3. Get your finances sorted with a Lemonade Hero! £49 gets you a Financial Health Report, telephone consultation and a tailored plan to get your finances heading in the right direction. 


*http://www.bobatoo.co.uk/blog/uk-christmas-spending-habits-survey-results/ 
** Estimate based on a 30 year old non-smoker in good health

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