With Covid restrictions, we can’t hold our usual Money Advice Christmas pop up stall at the St Johns campus, with Christmas Gift ideas, advice on how to enjoy Christmas on a budget and advice on Safe On-line shopping. So for this year, we have moved on-line and are including all the information here instead.
MAKE A LIST
- Make a list of everything you will need and how much it will cost including presents, decorations, groceries and going out (with current Covid rules allowing).
- If you don’t have enough cash to cover the costs you will need to make decisions about how to cut your spending.
SET A BUDGET
- Set a budget and stick to it.
- Take out only the cash that you can afford to spend. That way you’ll know when you’re at your spending limit because there won’t be any money left in your wallet.
NUS TOTUM CARD
- Take advantage of the 100’s of discounts available with your TOTUM card. A 1 year card costs just £14.99. When Christmas shopping, try to choose places where your card is accepted.
REDUCE NUMBER OF PRESENTS
- If you need to buy Christmas presents for lots of friends or family, why not organise a secret Santa so you only have to buy 1 present.
- Agree with friends to ban unnecessary Christmas presents.
- If you have a large extended family, why not agree to just buy for the children and set a price limit – this could cut your costs substantially.
CUT THE COST OF PRESENTS
- Recycle unwanted or unneeded Christmas presents by giving them to others.
- Charity shops are a great way of buying inexpensive gifts and this is a great way of helping charities to raise money as well.
- Check out online voucher and discount code sites and use comparison websites to ensure you’re getting the best deals. Places like Money Saving Expert are a good place to start.
- If you want presents like electrical goods, then perhaps wait until the after-Christmas sales.
- Shop at outlet villages or factory shops, where you get quality goods at knock-down prices.
MAKE YOUR OWN
- Making your own presents can save you money and be more personal. You can make things like chocolates, sweets, bath bombs, Xmas biscuits or decorate photo frames. Find some ideas at:
Also check out YouTube, Pinterest etc
- You could even design your own Cheque books, to complete with pledges to do something nice. Money Saving Expert have designed “cheques” for you to download at: www.moneysavingexpert.com/shopping/xmas-gift-cheques
- Make your own Christmas cards and gift tags – just save last year’s cards and cut out little pictures.
- Save money by baking your own Mince Pies, Christmas Cake etc. Find some ideas at: www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/christmas-baking-recipes
SAVE MONEY ON YOUR SUPERMARKET SHOP
- If you have loyalty cards, you could redeem your points for vouchers to spend in store on presents.
- Supermarkets also run saving stamp schemes throughout the year to encourage saving for Christmas, and when you cash them in, the store adds a bonus on top. Even if you haven’t saved throughout the year, if you buy the stamps before the closing date, you can still get the bonus, which can help boost your Christmas spending money.
- Shop at discount supermarkets to cut the cost of your Christmas food shop.
EXTRA FUNDS FOR CHRISTMAS
- Earn cashback on presents – with cashback sites, you sign up for free, then click through them to buy something, and get cashback for doing so. For more information see: www.moneysavingexpert.com/shopping/cashback-websites
- Earn money doing online surveys – www.moneysavingexpert.com/family/make-money-surveys/
- Sell any items you no longer use to raise money for gifts and shopping.
AVOID USING CREDIT
Credit and store cards have very high interest rates and it’s easy to lose track of what you have spent on them until your statements come in January. It’s easy to get into debt but so much harder to get out of it. If you do run up debt then act straight away by contacting a FREE debt advice service such as StepChange, National Debtline or Citizens Advice
STAY SAFE ONLINE
Unfortunately, November and December are the busiest time for fraudsters. Find advice on how to shop safe online at: https://www.getsafeonline.org/christmas/ to help protect you from falling victim to seasonal scams such as fraudulent shopping websites, fake goods, convincing phishing emails and ads for offers that are too good to be true.
Remember if you are struggling with your finances, or would like help and support with any other financial or welfare issue, you can book a 1-2-1 telephone appointment with one of the University’s Money Advisers. They can give you advice on budgeting and extra funds available including the Access to Learning Fund. Appointments can be booked via firstpoint on 01905 542551 or by emailing them at: firstname.lastname@example.org