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How to save money at Christmas

christmas jumpersWhat is it about Christmas that makes you spend money like a toddler high on chocolate coins? Perhaps it says something about my rubbish parenting skills but when the school said kids could wear Christmas jumpers on Monday, did I refuse to shell out for some acrylic monstrosity that will get all of a couple of wears? I wasn’t brave enough to let the boy stand out, so paid £15 for a lurid specimen which lights up and plays jingle bells. Even the cats won’t sit on it.

Christmas seems to be all about conspicuous consumption. So it’s hardly surprising that only 36% of households say they have no money worries at Christmas, says GoCompare Money. Its survey adds that 9% of households have sold belongings to pay for Christmas. Others cut back on heating and food to pay for festivities. This surely is madness. Christmas is one day. The meal is just a pimped up Sunday dinner. Kids get given stuff all the year round so why go over the top for one day?

Yet even though I am – self-evidently – a tightwad I still seem to have spent far too much. But at least I have spent wisely, I hope. Where possible I’ve bought via a cashback site (I use Quidco but Topcashback* is popular too) so I’ll get some money back in the new year on my purchases. I have also put purchases on my John Lewis Partnership card so I get vouchers back on spending – I clear the balance in full every month otherwise the vouchers’ value would be wiped out by interest. Others are even more organised and use loyalty card points to pay shopping and search for vouchers and discount codes – I’ve got a couple of bargain presents thanks to a bit of bargain watching on the web. It gives me a nice warm feeling knowing I have saved money – and surely knowing you’ll start the New Year quid’s in makes it worth the small amount of hassle involved?

2017: it’s been quite a year…
Money presents for kids: better than toys?

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Saturday, 20 April 2019