Christmas saving and borrowing-top ten tips

As the countdown to the festive period begins, so does people anxiety and worry over whether or not they can really afford Christmas. Here are our top ten tips to help you deal with the festivities, and the best places to go for that Christmas loan or borrowing should you need it.






  1. Boring- but budget, plan for what you can realistically afford, and its one day of the year so it’s not worth getting into lots of debt for. Make a list, check it over and over, ask yourself what can I afford to spend, not what you’d necessarily like to spend.
  2. It goes without saying but if you start saving early then Christmas should be less financially stressful. According to YouGov the average family spent £796 at Christmas 2015, which may be too much from one pay-packet, but if you spread it out over 3-6 months then it is more viable.
  3. Find the cheapest places to buy gifts. Online shops tend to be significantly cheaper than the High Street, Use comparison sites and shopbots which are special shopping robots that search the net to find the cheapest books, games, CDs and perfumes.
  4. Order direct from China. Many discount stores make huge profits by importing cheap goods from China and selling them on here, so simply cut out the middle man. Online marketplace AliExpress opens the gateway to Asia, and it is simple to buy goods for delivery direct to the UK. However, be careful as goods can take up to 6 weeks to arrive and ensure that the quality is up to standard.
  5. Need a little extra financial help? How about a 0% credit card?  Currently the longest 0% interest free card is Tesco’s, at up to 28months, closely followed by Post Office and Sainsbury’s at 27months.  As with all repayments though, plan them carefully and make sure it is paid off before the 0% ends, as the typical APR jumps to 18.9%.
  6. Try selling unwanted goods. EBay sells anything and everything so try listing any unwanted goods on there. Facebook is another huge marketplace for selling goods, and there are no fees, so you get to keep more of the profits. Or for speed and ease there are several selling sites that do all the hard work for you, offering you a price and then you simply post the goods to them such as music magpie and game exchange.
  7. How about 5% cash back on all your Christmas shopping? Cash back credit cards offer such incentives, and pay you every time that you spend on them. Maximise this great offer by simply setting up a direct debit to ensure that you repay the full amount, so you don’t incur any interest.  The Amex Platinum Cash back Everyday card pays 5% cash back on your first 3 months spending up to a maximum of £100.  Apply now for use over Christmas!! Remember though its 22.9% APR so always ensure that you pay off the full balance.
  8. Staying with the cash back theme, with cash back sites, you sign up for free, then click through them to buy goods. The sites get paid for sending traffic and give some of this to you, netting you £s.
  9. Register for free with sites that offer big brand and designer flash sales. These ‘members’ clubs offer exclusive and often very quick sales, lasting only a few days or even hours. However, emailed directly to you, it means that you won’t miss out, and could bag yourself a Christmas bargain saving you precious £s!
  10. Shop savvy in the January sales! Christmas items are massively discounted in Jan and believe it or not by the first week of Jan 2015, in a poll of 9,000 shoppers, 63% has already bought Christmas cards and wrap, 27% crackers and 19% decorations.