The Festive season can feel daunting to many, especially if you're struggling to make ends meet.
Our Back2Basics Team have put together some tips on how to get through it!
Just like day-to-day life, Christmas shopping works best when you plan in advance and stick to a budget! Depending on your financial situation you may need to decide who you can afford to get gifts for and those you can’t. By figuring out your budget early you can then shop around for the best deals to make even more savings.
A good place to start with Christmas savings is Idealo. Idealo is a price comparison website for everything! Simply search for an item and it will tell you how much the prices have changed and where it’s cheapest to buy saving you both time and money!
#2 Talk to Family and Friends
One of the fastest ways Christmas spending gets so expensive is when we realise just how many people we want to buy gifts for. For many people receiving a gift can make them feel like they ought to give one back, even if they can’t afford it. Regardless of whether you can afford to buy presents or not, it’s always good to be mindful that not everyone can. So this year why not make some changes?
A good place to start is talking to the friends you have in common – why not either make an agreement to NOT buy each other gifts (and really mean it!!) or why not try Secret Santa this year? That way everyone still gets a present but you only need to buy one!
When it comes to buying for the children in your family there are Toy and Clothing banks to make things easier. Like the CBSA Christmas Toy bank. You can call to make an appointment to visit and pick up some great quality pre loved (and sometimes new) toys for your little ones. Call Vanessa on 07960 610907 or Helen on 07539 881333 to book an appointment.
#3 Clear Out
As we get nearer to Christmas, now is as good a time as any to look through your belongings and see what you haven’t used this year. Maybe it’s presents your got last Christmas but haven’t used? Or something you picked up when you were out but no longer need? Maybe you’ve upgraded your phone and the old one is in a drawer somewhere? Or perhaps you’re just trying to make room for new gifts this year.
Whatever your reason, spend some time looking through your belongings, be honest with yourself – if you haven’t used it for more than 3-months do you really need it? And if you do have things you don’t need or use why not try selling it? There’s so many options available to sell things quick and easy online - ebay and Facebook market place are two popular options. This way you keep your home clutter-free, you can help the environment by not wasting things and you could even make a bit of extra cash along the way which will help towards Christmas or other all-year round expenses!
Along with presents, food spending is a massive expenditure at Christmas. There are hundreds of ways to cut down on your Christmas food spending. Whether it’s shopping around for the best deals, simply buying less food or being more creative to make your food go further there’s lots you can do to try and manage both the cost of food and food waste.
Another great way to save money on your food shop is to join your local community food store which will provide you with great quality, fresh food at a fraction of the supermarket prices. If you live in Carmarthenshire you could join our Stebonheath Store, our Burry Port Store or our Y Fasged Siopa delivery service available for those living in North Carmarthenshire. IN our Stores a weekly shop of 10 items will cost £3.50 and have a value of £15-£20. To find out more call 07932 998849.
If you feel it’s too late to make any substantial changes for this Christmas, why not plan ahead for next year? It’s widely known that both Boxing Day and New Year are prime time for sales, reduced cost items and huge price reductions. This is especially true for Christmas staples like cards, wrapping paper, gift tags, crackers, decorations and even Christmas Trees! If you’ve got the space at home, why not be more proactive during the sales this year and see what bargains you can grab ready for next year. It might be too early for you to buy the perfect gift but it’s the ideal time to pick up everything you might need!
Along with sales, many shops and stores do year-long saving cards or books to help you save money over the course of the year to then spend in December. Supermarkets are especially good at this often letting you set aside a weekly or monthly amount that soon adds up when Christmas comes meaning you’ve already paid for Christmas dinner in advance!
If you’re aged 14 – 25 and want to know how you can make your money further or if this year you want to manage your money better then get in touch with our Back2Basics team! We also offer support and help around general life skills and employability as well as food sustainability and zero food waste. Call Kelly on 07932 999293.