Saving Money on Your Christmas Gifts

A study polling thousands of consumers from across Europe put British shoppers at the top of the spending league when it came to buying Christmas gifts. The 2014 report commissioned by Dutch financial group ING found that the average Brit spent around £350 on presents in 2014, more than £100 more than shoppers in the next nearest countries, France and Luxembourg.

This generous nature came at a cost, however, with a significant proportion (14%) finding themselves in debt following the Christmas spending spree. Only Romania compared to the UK had a higher proportion of Christmas shoppers getting themselves into debt.

Gifts are not the only costs associated with Christmas of course. There are savings to be made for many households in areas like the food shopping and recycling or even making your own Christmas decorations. Christmas presents do usually represent a large chunk of the total Christmas spend however, and this is an area where many people are able to save money.

Shop online

There are several reasons why doing your Christmas shopping online can save you money. The obvious one is that prices are often simply lower online than on the high street, partly because of lower overheads. It is far easier to shop around and compare prices for the same or similar items and to look for sales, vouchers and special offers. You might also find unique, cost-effective and interesting gift ideas online that you might never have thought of otherwise. Auction sites and forums can be good for finding second-hand gifts or you could even sell some unwanted items of your own. This can help boost your Christmas kitty and keep you from going into debt from holiday overspending.

Trim your gift list

There are some people you have to buy gifts for, but it can help to sit down with friends, family and colleagues and discuss the idea of presents. You might agree, for example, not to buy presents for some people, set a price limit per gift or decide to adopt a “kids only” approach. Co-workers and groups of friends will often play Secret Santa with a maximum spend limit. You might find that a lot of people are actually relieved that you broached the subject as they might be looking to make savings too.

Buy early

You don’t have to wait until a few weeks before Christmas to start buying presents. The weeks afterwards are actually a great time for buying cut-price decorations and other items, but you can keep an eye out for on sale or bargain gifts all year round. As well as potentially saving you money, this also helps to spread the cost of Christmas rather than having it all bunched up over one or two months.

Make rather than buy

It might sound a bit ‘Blue Peter’ but making your own presents can be a great money saver as well as adding a wonderful personal touch. From personalised coasters to home-baked cakes, there are ideas to suit every level of artistic or culinary ability.

 

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