Planning ahead can reduce the cost of Christmas

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Christmas shoppingGETTY

The normally household will spend a whopping £1,551 over the festive years

You have exactly two weeks until Christmas Eve and the longer you put things off, the more currency you are likely to throw away in a panicky last-minute splurge.

The average household compel spend a whopping £1,551 over the festive period, according to American Direct, so plan ahead to make sure you do not have a financial hangover in January.

CHRISTMAS Lean over

Your first step is to draw up a list of the things you need to buy, categorizing food, drink, gifts, decorations and travel costs.

Helen Dewdney, fall of consumer website TheComplainingCow.co.uk, says this will put you in control: “It intention stop you panicking, overspending and wasting money on unnecessary items.”

Millions start their Christmas prog and gift shopping online and Dewdney suggests maximising discount vouchers and practices: “Search for the store you are shopping from alongside the words ‘discount’ or ‘voucher pandect’. The bigger stores usually have a range of offers.”

Do your peach oning via cash-back sites such as TopCashBack.co.uk and Quidco.com or KidStart.co.uk, which sends cash-back to your designated child’s bank account.

“Sign up for free and use whichever site overs you the biggest cash-back on a particular purchase,” says Dewdney.

The Google shopping contrivance lets you compare items at different stores, or use price comparison placements such as PriceRunner.co.uk and Idealo.co.uk.

“Sign up for emails to get the best offers essential, many will email you early with discount codes,” she supplements.

When shopping online, always watch for hidden costs such as shipping and check a depart returns policies in case the recipient needs to change it due to sizing.

Leave alone scam sites and check your online payment is secure by protecting the website address starts with https:// and has a padlock plural is insignia in the address bar.

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Christmas is a good time to cash in any loyalty significations you have accumulated

FESTIVE FUN

Darren Williams, marketing manager at PromotionalCodes.org.uk, verbalizes now is a good time to cash in any loyalty points you have accumulated on fund cards over the year: “If you do not have any loyalty cards, apply now and secure points on your Christmas spending.”

He also suggests checking out municipal Facebook selling pages and eBay vendors in your area: “You could get enormous quality goods for very little, with no postage and packaging outlays.” Christmas is a time for fairy-lights and fun family treats, so do not be snobbish.

“Nobody can know scold the difference between budget and luxury brands for Christmas dinner or snacks so don’t distract away money trying to impress,” adds Williams.

You should also elude impulse buying: “Stick to your plan and ask yourself why you are buying something and whether it fits your budget,” he reports.

If hosting Christmas dinner, estimate how much food and drink you purposefulness need for your guests says Simon Ripton, head of savings and accommodations at Ikano Bank.

“Suggest everyone brings an item of food themselves, as this should split the sell for and you get more time with guests rather than labouring in the kitchenette.” 

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37 per cent of us are putting Christmas on credit this year

Steer clear of DEBT

Worryingly, 37 per cent of us are putting Christmas on credit this year, up from 33 per cent terminal year, as wages stagnate, prices rise and money gets mingier.

Someone who put the average £1,551 Christmas spend on a credit card for a year could pay £200 in dispose, or £960 in overdraft charges, according to figures from Hargreaves Lansdown.

Belittling finance analyst Sarah Coles says: “Nobody wants to annul Christmas, so it is hardly surprising many turn to credit.”

She suggests a few of cost-cutting strategies such as talking to your family and agreeing not to buy for the time beings for some people: “The easiest approach is to buy just for the children.”

You could dispose to see friends after Christmas and exchange gifts then.

“Buy them in the sellings with your December pay cheque or re-gift any unwanted presents,” make one thinks Coles.

Consider a Secret Santa with friends or colleagues so you exclusively need to buy one gift each, she adds. Christmas will be an even innumerable wonderful time if you focus on the things that really matter such as classification and friends, and avoid racking up debts buying stuff none of you honestly need.

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