Have yourself a merry but cheap little Christmas

When the weather outside is frightful, the fire may well be delightful…but the state of your finances may well not be.

Yes, Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat but your wallet probably isn’t.

They say that Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, but for many it is a period of great expense and frustration.

In this difficult economic climate a lot of people will want to tighten their purse strings, but how do you cut back without turning in to Scrooge?

Well, here we look at some handy tips which will ensure you can have a merry Christmas without breaking the bank.

Voucher schemes

Websites such as MoneySupermarket.com and MoneySavingExpert.com regularly run promotions with product providers which enable you to save a few quid thanks to printable vouchers and discount codes.

These savings can range from as little as five per cent to as much as 50 per cent and can come in handy when looking for gifts for friends and family.

Indeed, the person you are buying for will never know that you scrimped a few pounds because they will get a quality gift from a recognised retailer.

Shop around

Sounds obvious doesn’t it? Well, you’d be amazed at the number of people who fail to look around the stores for the best prices and just buy items from a select number of outlets.

This is particularly the case with those people who leave their festive shopping until the last minute and thus have to do things in a rush.

When shopping around it also makes sense to check prices online as you may well find that items can be bought much cheaper. The only real downfall to online purchases is the time it takes for the goods to be delivered so make sure you leave plenty of time or you’ll be handing out gifts at some point in January.

Work out a budget and stick to it

If you do your Christmas shopping on a whim there’s a good chance you’ll over spend.

Because of this it is important to sit down and work out exactly the amount of money you can afford to splash out on each of the people you need to buy for and tell yourself that no matter what happens you will not be spending any more.

Dig out last year’s spare cards and wrapping paper
When Christmas is just around the corner there is the urge to go out and buy new rolls of paper and boxes of stylish cards, but first have a check around your house for any bits you may have purchased in previous years and never used.

Wrapping paper isn’t like clothing, it does not go out of fashion. So if you’ve got a few rolls going spare in the loft then make sure you put them to go use before buying more.

Sell old items

If you’ve got items laying around your house that you never use then there’s no better time than to sell them and get in some much needed wonga for the yuletide period.

Online auction sites such as eBay are great places to get rid of things which may seem like junk to you but are in fact desirable objects to other people.

This could include that collection of books you have never gotten around to reading or that exercise bike that currently does nothing more than serve as a place for you to hang your clothes on.

Save up your loyalty points

Most major supermarket chains offer loyalty discounts to regular customers so with a little forethought you can use these to pay for festive foods and even gifts.

Indeed, if you regularly buy your toiletries from Boots, you may well find that come December you have accrued enough points to pay for a small bottle of perfume or one of those gift sets of smellies which are always popular at this time of year.

This article was produced by debtfreedirect.co.uk who offer help with debt management, consolidation and bankruptcy. If you are having problems with debt then don’t hesitate to get touch or visit us online.