Can you feel it in the air? Christmas is just around the corner. As the supermarkets begin to deck their halls with mince pies and gingerbread, you might already be imagining what this Christmas holds for you.
We all have our own little traditions that make the day special — whether it’s the food or simply a chance to spend time with loved ones. Unfortunately, money can sometimes make us feel a little less festive — it’s really common to worry about financing Christmas. But we want to help: Loqbox is here to share some great tips and ideas to make saving for Christmas a breeze.
Ready to feel confident about your finances as you head into the festive season? Pour yourself a mulled wine — or perhaps a cuppa if it still feels a tad too early — and we’ll help you build your Christmas savings plan. You might find that saving money for Christmas is easier than you think!
Why saving for Xmas is important
Christmas is a time for giving, but the costs can quickly add up. Without a Christmas savings plan, you might end up relying on credit cards or loans, which can lead to financial strain in the New Year. But by saving money for Christmas weekly, or monthly, throughout the year, you can spread the cost and avoid the post-holiday financial hangover.
7 tips for saving for Christmas
1. Make a budget list… and check it twice!
Okay, grab a pen and paper, and start making your Christmas wish list. Work out how much money for Christmas you already have set aside, and what you still need to save. This should include gifts, decorations, food, travel, and entertainment.
You might ask yourself questions like: “How many people need presents?”, “How many are coming for dinner?”, “Am I going to a pantomime or Christmas market?”, “Do I need to travel to see far away family?” Once you know your total, divide it by the number of weeks — or months — before Christmas Day. Now decide: is that a realistic Christmas savings plan? Can you afford it after your other financial commitments?
If not, revisit your wish list. Can you reduce the festive expenses? (We have a whole list of creative Christmas money-saving tips to share later.)
2. Start saving for Christmas early
It can feel like everything piles up around December, but saving up for Christmas as early as possible could help you enjoy a calmer festive season. The sooner you start saving, the easier it will be to reach your goal. Even small, regular contributions can add up over time. The longer you give yourself to save, the more manageable you can make your weekly or monthly payments.
If you’d like to get ahead of the curve for Christmas 2024, our top tip is to start your savings journey with Loqbox Lite. Set a festive savings goal and we’ll lock it away for the next 12 months. We report your regular payments to the UK’s top three credit reference agencies (CRAs): Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Not only can you hit your Christmas savings goal, but you could improve your credit score by an average of 197 points too.
Improvements to your credit score are not guaranteed.
Your credit score summarises how creditworthy you appear to potential lenders. A higher credit score can get you better interest rates and save you £1,000s in the long run. So while you’re saving for your Christmas presents you can be building towards an even better and brighter Christmas future.
3. Automate your Christmas payments
Direct Debits and standing orders are fantastic tools if you don’t trust yourself to put your Christmas savings goal first, or even if you’re just a bit forgetful. Automate your monthly payments towards your Christmas savings fund. That way you’ll be paying yourself first without even having to think about it. Automatic payments are easy to set up and you can normally do it with online banking.
Another great tip is to make sure that your savings come out on, or just after, your payday. That way you will know that you’ve set aside money for Christmas before you’re tempted to spend it on anything else. Turn your Direct Debits into helpful Christmas elves that work away on your festive fund for you!
4. Little things can make a big difference
Look for deals, discounts, and cashback offers when shopping for your Christmas gifts and decorations. Online shopping can often provide better deals than bricks-and-mortar stores, but also you can sometimes get cashback rewards on your credit cards. Remember that even little things can add up over time and make a big difference.
A lot of banks now offer round-ups for your savings. ‘Round-ups’ work by rounding up your regular spending to the nearest pound and putting the extra into your savings account. You’ll barely even notice it happening, but over time it really mounts up. It’s a fantastic way to boost your Christmas savings fund across the year.
5. Get creative with gifts and decorations
Get creative and make some of your gifts or decorations. Homemade gifts often carry more sentimental value and doing your own decorations can become a great festive family tradition. Why not get the whole family involved by putting a Christmas film on in the background?
You can also get creative with gift-giving. Big families can quickly find themselves drowning in present buying. Of course, it’s normal to want to treat the kids, but why not do a Secret Santa with a set price limit for the rest of the family? You might find that having one person to focus on allows you to pick something special that you just know they’re going to love!
And even if someone prefers to receive cash gifts instead of a physical present, there’s always a way to give money for Christmas that will bring joy to the day. Like peeling the brightly coloured paper off a gigantic cardboard box and searching through the wrapping to find a wee gift card at the bottom. Or doing a treasure map around your home with clues to lead to the festive treasure. Whatever you think will make them smile most.
6. Shop smart and reduce your spending
Christmas vendors know that they can take advantage of high demand and last-minute shoppers. Get your shopping done early and avoid not only higher prices but also the queues. Look at your Christmas budget and keep an eye out for bargains and deals, throughout the year, that could be gifts for the people on your list.
Find ways of reducing your spending and earning a little extra throughout the year. Do you have clothes or other items that you no longer need that could go on Facebook Marketplace or another selling platform? Maybe there are a few presents you received last year that you could regift? Make them work towards next year’s Christmas fund!
7. Celebrate the milestones
Treat every time that you hit your target as another window opened on your Christmas savings advent calendar. Don’t be afraid to celebrate these milestones. Of course, there will still be more work to do, but acknowledging your successes could help you to stay motivated and strive towards the next target.