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October 9 2023Read more
As the cost-of-living crunch continues into 2024 financial concerns are rising. We’ve seen this first hand at Health Assured, with financial-related calls to our helpline increasing 50% compared with last year.
It seems like if there was ever a time to time to cut back on Christmas, 2023 could be the year. But let’s remember the most important thing—Christmas is a time to spend with those you love. And there are ways you can celebrate without breaking the bank.
If you’re concerned about making the pounds stretch, we’ve got seven money-saving tips below to keep your finances on track throughout the festivities.
1. Work out your budget
Before you spend a penny, get your budget in order; work out what you can and can’t spend, think about your outgoings—and prioritise. Obviously, bills and groceries come first. Figure out if there are any areas you can cut back this month. Can you press pause on subscriptions to find some extra cash?
Once you’ve finalised your budget, you can get a clear outline of what you can spend and where. Setting aside mini budgets for presents, social events, and decorations can also be a helpful way to keep track of your spending.
2. Order early & save on postage
Start your shopping now to save on high postage fees from trying to get gifts to arrive in time. You'll also have no stress from rushing around to get everyone on your list ticked off. Plus, this way, you can make the most of Black Friday deals, try to find discount codes and scout around for the best prices.
3. Secret Santa
Secret Santa is a great way to keep the budget down when exchanging gifts this year. Whether it's between friends, co-workers or siblings, why not suggest a gift swap like this to keep down the number of presents you need to purchase—you'll likely be doing all of you a favour.
4. Homemade gifts
Getting stuck in with gift-making by hand can help you save on stocking fillers and Christmas gestures. Plus, it's the time, effort and thought that counts for the most part, and this never goes unnoticed by the recipient.
Some of the most popular easy-to-make gifts include baked Christmas treats, homemade sweet jars, candles, hampers or photo frames. Try your hand at homemade gifts this year and see what happens.
5. Make Christmas dinner swaps
Christmas dinner with all the trimmings… for most, it’s the pivotal point of the day. But it can also be one of the most expensive.
So we’re encouraging you to see if you can make some swaps this year. Frozen veggies can be just as good when you season and cook them well, with desserts from the frozen isle often hitting the spot too.
Another way to save could be buying value supermarket wine; many of these own-brand specials have won awards for their taste—do your research first, and give it a shot.
6. Charity shop gifts
Another way to save money on gifts is by hunting down some charity shop bargains. It could be a book, jewellery, homeware or vinyl from their favourite artist. These little gifts make the perfect stocking fillers, and you’ll also be donating money to a good cause.
7. If you’re worried – seek help
If you have even the smallest concerns about how you’ll make ends meet this Christmas, don’t be afraid to reach out. There are plenty of financial information and advice services out there that can provide support and guidance.
StepChange offers some great info and helpful FAQs to help you with your financial wellbeing. And if you have access to Health Assured’s EAP, remember you can get in touch with our financial specialists via the helpline about any worries you might have.
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