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How to balance your budget over the holiday season

How to balance your budget

Trying to save money and balance a budget over Christmas is tricky. Can it even be done? Is there much point trying? The desire to overindulge and spend large sums of money treating friends and family is strong. How, then, to keep costs down without cutting back on all the fun stuff? Can you stick to a budget and avoid those whacking new year credit card bills? Let’s have a look at some hacks and tips that might help.

Discover reward apps

A good place to start is with reward schemes. Apps like CheckoutSmart and Receipt Hog help you earn cash, rewards and points when you shop. You’re going to be spending anyway, so why not make it pay?

Check out websites like

These sites are becoming more and more popular. You can find compare the price of your shopping before you go online or instore to see which supermarket is cheapest for what you need. Comparison sites like these can tell you the price of your shopping basket should you choose one supermarket over another. Before you shop.

Don’t go gift shopping without a plan

Make a list of people that you’re going to get gifts for and then write your ideas for each person next to the name. In the third column put a budget for each present. Sounds simple. But you’d be surprised how many people just wing it and end up overspending. Start a list on your phone so you have it with you all the time.

Do your online research first

Before you visit a store, jump on their website. See what deals they have. Some will only apply online, others in store. Pick the one with the lowest price and only then go and buy the gifts.

Be shop smart

Supermarkets will often have excess stock, which means they’ll start dropping their prices the closer it gets to Christmas. It might be a bit risky but for big ticket items, going last minute can bag you a bargain. Particularly with food and drink.

Handmade gifts work wonders

When you need to keep costs down use your talents. Homemade treats go down well with neighbours. Knitted Christmas gloves are great for kids. It costs you very little but shows that you put some effort into your present. Don’t forget to include a handmade card.

Set a budget limit for your family.

Secret Santa isn’t just for work – introduce it to your friends and family too, especially the grown-ups. Setting a secret Santa limit (like £20), means you only buy one gift. Which leaves more money to spoil the kids. You can arrange your secret Santa using

Remember, you’re not supposed to go bankrupt to celebrate Christmas! Sometimes less is more!

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