1. Have a good clear out
Be ruthless and get any toys, books, clothes, shoes, baby items etc on Ebay or advertise on Gumtree.
You will be amazed what people will buy on Ebay and it is easy money to make from things you no longer want or require.
2. Check your utility bills
Winter means it is cold and it seems to be dark all the time.
It also means we use more gas and electricity.
Also, if you like to put up lots of Christmas lights up around your house, you know you are in for a big bill in January!
Use price comparison websites to make sure that you are not paying more than you should be and if you are, swap to a better deal.
Whilst, you are doing this check all the other items you pay out for each month (broadband, mobile phones etc) and see if you can get better deals on them and save yourself some money there.
3. Try and cut down on who you buy for
If you have a large family and circle of friends and you buy for all the adults as well as the children suggest that you all just continue to buy gifts for the children and not each other.
Buying large numbers of people gifts all at the same time of year is very expensive, they may also be glad to have their Christmas bill reduced as well.
It doesn’t mean that you don’t care about each other, but we all know that times are hard.
4. Make your own presents and cards
If you are quite crafty or enjoy cooking this is a good one to do. It is a great one to get the kids involved in as well.
People love receiving gifts where someone has taken the time to make it themselves.
Whether, it is some freshly baked biscuits or cakes or a knitted scarf, I am sure they will love it.
There are plenty of crafty ideas and recipes on the internet to get you started.
5. Start buying early I start buying for Christmas (and birthdays) in January in the sales
I don’t just buy anything as it may be reduced or half price but I think about what I think someone will like and then buy it and put it away for Christmas.
That way, I am not paying out for presents all at once.
I have spread the cost throughout the year.
I know this can be difficult with children as they may all want the latest toys but open a bank account just for presents and put some money into each month to save up throughout the year for Christmas.
6. Make a list and stick to it
Food shopping, I hate it!
I used to constantly come home with things that were supposedly on special offer that I had not gone to the supermarket for and which subsequently got thrown in the bin!
Therefore, I may as well have just chucked my money in the bin.
Now, I always (try) and take a list and stick to it.
I have saved money as I am not buying unwanted items just the things I need.
I now keep my eyes averted from those ‘special’ offers!
This works for present buying as well.
Budget an amount, stick to it!
7. Have fun!!
Christmas is a time to be with our loved ones and to enjoy ourselves.
A bit of overindulgence at this time of year is good, it is expected, but not so much that you are dreading the bills coming in the post in January!
Merry Christmas everyone and a Happy and Healthy New Year!