Blogmas Day 10: How to stop Christmas spending spiralling out of control

When it comes to Christmas shopping, I like to think I’m an expert on the matter. I grew up in a household where we didn’t always get what we wanted, but we always got what we needed, thanks to my mum’s saving tactics. 

I’ve taken some top tips from my mum and tweaked them with my tactics, to make sure my spending doesn’t get out of control at Christmas. I hope some tips can help you this Christmas!

  1. Plan ahead
  2. Handmade gifts
  3. Jot down names
  4. Budgeting
  5. Online vouchers
  6. Shop around
  7. Just ask
  8. Spending limit
  9. Family secret Santa

1) – Plan ahead

If you have space in your house, it is never too early to plan for Christmas. I’ve started Christmas shopping during the January sales before, but only after incorporating tip number three and four. 

When you do shop in advance for Christmas presents, you are spreading out the cost, so you are not seeing money leave your bank account in one massive sum.

Top tip when planning ahead though, make sure you put sticky notes or some indication on each gift about who the gift is for. 

One year, when I was younger, I was out shopping with my mum and picked up a jacket. Mum bought it for me, saying, ‘you can have it at Christmas’. Christmas rolled around, and I hadn’t forgotten about this jacket, so I certainly remembered it when my sister opened it instead! My mum forgot that it was intended for me. We had a good laugh about it, and I got the jacket, but now mum puts sticky notes on each gift. 

2) – Handmade gifts 

You can save money by creating a personal and sentimental gift yourself. You can make handmade trinkets, such as personalised baubles, photo albums, or even Christmas decorations. It’ll save you a bit of money, provides you with a Christmas activity and is something the recipient can cherish for years. 

This year, I have attempted a handmade pillow for my mum, along with some Christmas tree ornaments, bookmarks and cross-stitch decorations for other members of my family. 

3) – Jot down names

As simple as it sounds, you should write down the names of everyone you are buying for before shopping. You might have a budget, then someone might slip your mind, and you will end up spending more than you planned. 

I jot down the names of everyone I am buying for and then write down the gifts and how much they were next to each. This also helps overspending on one person. 

4) – Budgeting

I touched on this point above, make sure you write down a budget and then calculate how much you can spend on each person. This provides you with a guideline of what you can afford to spend.

5) – Online vouchers 

I rarely buy something without a voucher code or point system. I’m signed up to Nectar, so I’ve used those points for my Christmas food shop. I have Qmee installed, so when I have been browsing sites for gifts, I’ve slowly accumulated money in my account. You can also get vouchers in your inbox from Nectar when you sign up, that can automatically be added to your card. 

I also have Honey, and yes, I was persuaded by all the YouTubers that got sponsored by it. I didn’t think I would save money with it, in all honesty, but I do. But, it does depend on where you buy from and what you buy. My partner also has it installed, and he says he has never saved money with it.

Finally, I have Topcashback which I basically use like Google. You type in the merchant on Topcashback, click on the bright pink button and shop as usual. While writing this, my total earned on this site is £144.04, which is good, considering you don’t have to do anything other than using the site as a search engine. 

Aside from Christmas shopping, I highly recommend going through Topcashback when setting up your bills for a new property. My partner and I got so much money back that it covered the first month’s bills. (We used his account for that, so it isn’t reflected in my total earned). 

In terms of negatives of each, some merchants on Topcashback take a while to confirm the payout. The other sites take about 15-20 minutes to set up, and sometimes each saving method might cancel out the other, so you have to use one at a time. Once everything is set up, it becomes second nature, so it won’t take that long. 

I just save money in each account until Christmas now, and cashout then to spend on Christmas presents, activities and drinks. 

6) – Shop around

While an emphasis is being put on small businesses this year, which I fully support if you can, not everyone can afford to shop small. There is nothing wrong with shopping around for the cheapest deal, especially since this year has put a financial strain on a lot of families and individuals. 

Just make sure you thoroughly read the description of something cheap. Usually, if something is too good to be real, it usually is. Check out the reviews for inexpensive products, especially if they have pictures as this is the best place to way to get honest opinions. 

7) – Just ask 

You don’t want to spend a lot of money on a gift for someone, only for it to be regifted or donating in January. To avoid this, simply ask the recipient what they want for Christmas. 

I don’t like those posts you’ll see on Instagram that say ‘if you love me, you’d know what to get me’. It is stupid. If someone needs something, I’d rather ask and get them that. This way, they have something they need and can use, as opposed to something that they like but might not necessarily need. 

8) – Spending limit 

I do this with my partner and a few friends, we set a budget that we can spend between ourselves. 

Do you ever feel guilty when opening gifts and it looks so expensive, and you only got the gift giver a pair of socks? Setting a limit between friends and family allows you to purchase personal, thoughtful gifts, without continually thinking, ‘Is this enough?’ ‘What if they spent more, maybe I should buy one more gift for them?’  

9) – Family secret Santa

My partner does this with his siblings, their partners and his parents. They all select a random name out of the group and only buy for that person within a set budget. So, instead of everyone buying seven gifts each, they only buy gifts for one person. I like this idea as you can focus on getting something really personal for your chosen person. 

Don’t worry, everyone still buys gifts for the kids. 

What are your tips to make sure Christmas spending doesn’t get out of control? 

This is Blogmas day 10, so if this is your first time on my site you can check out the previous days here.

All the links I have used in this post are just what I use on my own browser. 

8 thoughts on “Blogmas Day 10: How to stop Christmas spending spiralling out of control

Add yours

  1. I love the ‘just ask’ part, it’s so obvious yet so difficult. We always want to surprise people with our gifts but there’s more chance of them not liking the gift this way. If we only asked, everybody would be happy. Thank you for opening my eyes. Great post as always.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve always just asked, because it’s what my parents always did, so I thought it was normal. I like to know what people genuinely need, and then get them a gift I think they might like as well. I never thought anything of it until one of my friends said, ‘I like how you just ask directly’, and talked about it with them. 😂 Thank you for your comment. Happy December.

      Like

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