Prepare early to save money for birthdays, Christmas and other occasions
It can seem like birthdays and Christmas get more expensive each year. Planning ahead and setting a limit on how much money you spend on presents can really help during these fun but expensive times of the year.
To save money on Christmas and birthdays, try the following.
- Keep your gift list small. Don't feel pressured to buy presents for everyone you know. Ask friends and family how they feel about exchanging gifts. You might find they appreciate not having to buy lots of presents too!
- Set a spending limit per person and stick to it
- If you're buying presents for a child, ask family members if they’d like to contribute towards a big gift, rather than all buying small or cheap gifts. You’re more likely to get something your child will use for longer, and it puts less financial pressure on you
- Put money aside at least three months before Christmas or someone’s birthday. Even loose change in a jar will add up over time
- Use a Christmas savings scheme. There are lots of websites that make it easy for you to save money in advance for Christmas and use them to buy vouchers for Christmas presents. You can save by direct debit too – it’s an easy and reliable way to put away the money you need.
- Keep an eye out for discounts and deals on toys. Shops tend to run discounts on toys a few months before Christmas
- Look out for pre-loved games, books and music. Online and offline shops have big markets in second-hand items. You can make huge savings over the ticket prices for new items
- Look out for discounts on travel costs. Train companies start selling cheap, advance train tickets around three months before Christmas.
- Use cashback websites and voucher codes whenever you buy online. If you do this throughout the year, you may find you have extra money to use for Christmas
- Buy Christmas cards and wrapping in the January sales. You can often get them for a fraction of what they’d cost in the run-up to Christmas.
Budgeting tip: if you use our free budgeting template, there’ll be a section on sundries and emergencies. It’s here that you can set aside a realistic amount of money each month towards Christmas and birthdays.
Explore ways to save money on clothes
Your children will go through a lot of clothes over the years, but there are ways to save money as they grow:
Budgeting tip: Try setting some money aside each month for when you’ll need to buy new school uniforms. If you’re on a long-term debt solution, there’ll be an amount in your budget that’s allocated for costs like this.
Give second-hand shops a chance
Most charity shops will only take good-quality clothes. If you’re lucky, you can often find clothes that are brand new, sometimes even with the original tags.
Buy pre-loved clothes in job lots
People often sell off their children’s clothes online in bulk as a quick way to get rid of it. Looking out for these job lots could get you several outfits for a fraction of the original price.
Find out if you’re eligible for help
Some schools have schemes in place to help families over uniform costs. Ask your school if they have any kind of help in place and if you can access it.
Looking to save money on clothes for the whole family? Our guide can help.