As a not-for-profit cooperative, we are always focussed on “looking after our members’ pennies & pounds.” So, even though Christmas is not far away now, we believe there is still time to save some money – as well as making the money you have work harder.
Below are some suggestions on how to make your money go further this festive season – helping to avoid or, at least, limit a Christmas overspend.
- Work out what you can afford (your Christmas Budget) and stick to it.
- Agree to a ban on unnecessary adult gifts (eg for friends, neighbours and work colleagues). Or, if you are not ready for this, at least agree to a limit of, say, £5 per gift.
- Write some “January Sale” IOUs. If someone, say, just wants some “new clothes” for Christmas, buying in the sales will give them much more for the money.
- Give the gift of time (eg offer to babysit, hold a Kids’ sleepover, help with a garden tidy up / some decorating, etc).
- Buy some charity shop gifts (new ones, if you prefer). Save money and help a good cause.
- Consider using cashback sites for any larger priced gifts.
- Use up old loyalty scheme points / vouchers.
- Use Skype to call overseas for free.
- Instead of posting large numbers of Christmas cards, send your Christmas greetings by sharing a photo and personal message by email / social media.
- If you need to borrow, ask about a loan from us before using a Rent-to-own, Doorstop or Payday lender. We will always be cheaper than they.
For even more ways to save your cash at Christmas click here.
Don’t just employ these tips this year. By employing all / some of these tips next year and every year, just imagine how much money this could save you? What to do with the money saved? Well, if you have debts, use the money to help reduce them / clear them.
If you don’t have any debts, use the spare cash to start a Christmas savings account with us. Doing this straight after Christmas, and saving just £5 a week (£20 a month) would be worth £220 by next December. If you could manage £20 a week, you would have £880 - which would give you £60 more than YouGov estimates the average family will spend on Christmas this year.
If you do have debts, use the spare cash to help clear them. Just remember, once they are cleared, to start a Christmas savings account with us.
To make the process of saving easier and more convenient, why not use our Salary Savings Scheme? By completing one simple form, your savings could be paid to your Essex Savers account – straight from salary. Alternatively, you can set up a Standing Order. Both methods will ensure you save regularly – without the need to try to remember.
If the worst should happen / has already happened and you find your debts are more than you can handle, please don’t ignore them. Seek help straight away! Organisations like the Citizens Advice Bureau and Stepchange are very well placed to help you work out a solution. Part of that solution may be to consider paying off one of your high-cost debts with a, cheaper, member loan with us.
As soon as you get your finances under control – and to help prevent problems reoccurring in future – look to build up your savings again with Essex Savers.
Wishing you a happy, healthy and peaceful festive season
Essex Savers net Credit Union Limited