As we all gear up for the festive season (it’s only about 100 days away!), it’s time to discuss budgets, discounts, and savvy shopping. Anita Naik, savings expert at VoucherCodes.co.uk, has 6 great tips to help you make money go further as you shop for the holidays. From early-bird train tickets to cutting out unused subscriptions, here’s how to keep your finances healthy while indulging in the festive spirit.
Table of Contents
- Developing a thorough budget to optimally manage your expenditures during the festive period
- Leveraging early bird offers on train tickets and being cautious of potential scams
- Making the most of Black Friday and Cyber Monday by planning your purchases and sticking to a list
- Utilising discounts and offers available on reliable platforms such as VoucherCodes.co.uk to help make money savings
- Cutting down unnecessary costs by revisiting and cancelling unused subscriptions.
1. Define Your Festive Financial Budget
First thing’s first, laying down a well-thought-out budget is pivotal. It isn’t just about listing down all your planned expenses; it’s about understanding your financial inflow and outflow, and so being able to determine a reasonable amount to allocate for each festive necessity including gifts, Christmas dinner, and travel.
The table below has a sample Christmas budget allocation. Clearly this is a starting point for you and you will need to add in specific expenses that are relevant to you to ensure you have a comprehensive budget.
|Expense Category||Budget (£)||Notes|
|Gifts||200||Consider homemade gifts to save more|
|Christmas Dinner||100||Opt for budget-friendly yet delightful recipes|
|Travel||50||Book in advance to avail discounts|
|Miscellaneous||50||Decorations, cards etc.|
2. Travelling Tips to Make Money Last
Travelling can eat up a significant part of your budget, but Anita highlights the availability of cheaper UK Advance train tickets released around 12 weeks before your travel date. Grab these early bird tickets around the start of October to save substantially and make money last longer
Using a website or app such as Trainline.com can help you with your train or coach travel booking and potentially save you money in the process, for example booking in advance but also through use of split tickets.
Also if you travel frequently by train or coach, it may be worth buying a railcard. There are variety of these available, for example 2-together, 16-25 years and over 60 years old, and by using you can get 1/3rd off your ticket price.
If you are planning to travel by car, navigating spiralling car running costs is a significant concern for many. That said there are ways you can manage these, including through ways to drive efficiently to save money – see our article ‘How to Save on Car Running Car Costs‘ for more information.
3. Check-out Your Subscriptions
A swift move to make money last longer is reviewing and cancelling the subscriptions you don’t utilise. This could be anything from TV packages to magazine subscriptions. Doing this well before Christmas can free up some extra cash for the festivities.
As well as stopping subscriptions, take advantage of saving on your subscriptions too. For example, Readly.com, is a digital subscription service that provides you with unlimited access to thousands of magazines and newspapers all within one app and for one consolidated price.
An example template to capture subscription monthly costs which you adapt and add to for your own specific needs:
|Subscription Type||Monthly Cost (£)||Savings in 3 months (£)|
4. Leveraging Black Friday and Cyber Monday
The shopping days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday house a world of discounts to help you make money savings. Black Friday always take place on the last Friday in February, with Cyber Monday the following Monday. This means they happen around a month before Christmas.
Ideally you need to prep up in advance of these discount days by listing the items and their prices in advance so that you can spot real bargains. It is worth checking prices from early on as early morning shopping can bag the best deals and hopefully also ensure the sale product you want is in stock.
5. Safety First: Avoiding Scams
With the festive season being a peak time for scammers, maintaining vigilance is essential. Always opt for reputable stores and secure websites (check for a padlock before the URL) to avoid falling prey to scams.
6. Use Discount Codes and Offers to Save Money
As retailers are vying for customers, the festive season is ripe with discounts and offers. Platforms like VoucherCodes.co.uk are treasure troves of discounts and bonus reward vouchers, presenting an excellent opportunity to make money savings while shopping from over 5,000 of the UK’s favourite retailers.
See our article ‘How to Save Money with Discounts, Offers and Vouchers‘ for more information.
By adopting these tips, not only can you make money last but also enjoy a festive season that is rich in joy and light on the pocket. So, why wait? Start your budget blueprint today to help ensure you have a financially savvy and not too stressful festive season.