Our Guide to saving money (and time!) this Christmas [AD]
O2 has recently put together a wishlist of top Christmas gifting tips (ranging from savings to best times to buy); and I thought I’d add to this by adding my best Christmas gift ideas, planning, and saving recommendations based on our own past experiences.
In 2019, the average UK adult spent £1,116 on Christmas presents. In 2020, this decreased to £883. Christmas can also be an unnecessarily stressful time of the year due to increasing workloads.
The last 20 months have been tough and with this, I want your help to make Christmas 2021 the best one yet.
It’s very comfortable to navigate towards your usual shop, whether that’s online or in-store. But if you get into the habit of shopping around you never know what bargains you might find.
For example, O2 has a Christmas Sale on at the moment, with savings of over £200 to be made online. You can also make mega savings up to £400 on phones and tablets simply by checking for Great Deals. Sticking to one store for all your needs, however, means you might miss out on deals like this.
Tip: Don’t forget to look at places such as Etsy that support independent businesses. They regularly offer discounts for multiple purchases and designers can often customise your order!
Write a list.
I adore a list. I have a list for everything. That being said, I know that they can also be quite a daunting thing as you’re then faced with everything you need to do in front of you. For important occasions, however, I cannot stress how helpful a list can be. They allow you to plan ahead, budget, even remind you of things you don’t normally remember until the last minute. If you’re not a fan of a list, give it a go this year and see if it helps relieve any stress.
Tip: Why not purchase different coloured paper to organise your lists, or maybe even different coloured pens. Red for Christmas gifts and Green for Christmas food!
Set a budget (and stick to it!).
You know what it’s like, you’re browsing the airborne stripy feline shop and in no time you’ve spent £100 on both stocking fillers and flags for next year’s Pride. Don’t do this! Not only is this potentially going to eat away at budgets set for food (and bills!) but you’ll then have to find somewhere to store it all. Continually ask yourself whether something is necessary.
Since having our son, we give ourselves a strict budget for each other as we now prioritise our son’s gifts. This allows us to still be as creative as we want whilst also remaining fair and equal in terms of spending.
Tip: Why not dedicate a certain bank account to just Christmas shopping. Load it up throughout the year and use that to spend on presents. It’s a more visual way of knowing how much you’ve spent on presents, rather than working it out amongst your usual outgoings.
Be smart when it comes to delivery
Not only is it not very environmentally friendly, but delivery can be costly if you’re buying from one shop at different times. If you know that you’re definitely going to be doing a lot of shopping at a particular online shop then save everything for one transaction so that they can be delivered in one go!
Tip: Supermarkets and some online retailers sometimes offer a monthly service where you pay a small upfront fee to get unlimited delivery in the future. On occasion, if you spend enough with one store, you’ll end up having free delivery!
Reuse and Recycle when possible!
It’s very easy to navigate towards buying brand new, but when it comes to toys and electronic devices, sometimes buying second hand is just as good. This is especially relevant if you’re knowingly only going to have that device for a short period.
For example, O2 understands that not everyone wants to splash out on a new device. They therefore have a large range of approved refurbished phones, tablets and smartwatches. This also helps reduce the impact on our environment and will save you some cash while you’re at it.
Tip: Don’t forget to choose recyclable or reusable boxes, bags and gift wrapping. The latter will save you both time and money when it comes to wrapping your presents, and the former is better for the environment!
Gift yourself time.
As soon as Christmas is over for another year, Sharon will often spend the next 10 months casually browsing various online stores for bargains. She will then either save items in her basket for later or take screenshots; saving them in a particular folder on her phone. For me, I will keep notes in my diary or create notes on my phone; detailing various conversations where people have mentioned things they like, want or need.
Tip: If you don’t want to or can’t plan too far ahead, then dedicate a day or a particular week for your Christmas shopping instead. This will give you a set ‘goal’ and remove the feeling of Christmas shopping being this long, drawn out process.
I hope you’ve found this Christmas gifting tips post helpful. If you have any money saving advice or helpful tips to save time, let us know!