New research estimates that more than 600,000 people in the north east put all their christmas spending on a credit card. On average we now spend more than £800 over the festive period on everything from parties to presents.
Before you head out to part with your money, Ashleigh Swan, founder of Ashleigh Money Saver, has complied her tips on how to watch the pennies this season.
- HAGGLE! I recently had to haggle with the high street retailers for a new TV show to be aired in the next week or so. I was a little daunted (yes even me!) but the results were fantastic. I was able to get at least 10% off in all but one shop I haggled in - it is a great way to save a few ££
- Swapping well known brands for the cheaper supermarket own brand range when you’re doing your weekly grocery shop is a great way to save pounds. I managed to save £40 a week on my family food shop thanks to this and really sometimes they taste better. Try it and work out what tastes the same or better.
- Buy birthday and Christmas present throughout the year in sales rather than waiting until the night before - this could help you save big! I bought most of my Christmas presents in the January sales and Black Friday last year.
- Another great way to help spread the cost of birthdays and Christmas is to do the ‘layaway’ scheme with large toy retailers. Spread the cost of toys and electronics over 12 weeks to make it easier to pay.
- Download voucher apps on your smart phone for when you’re out shopping. This can help you save money and even get freebies!
- Before buying anything on a retail website check the price on large shopping sites. 9 times out of 10 you can find it cheaper on the reliable large shopping sites.
- If you’re shopping on the high street it is worth heading to the larger stores. They usually price match and offer a longer warranty too.
- Black Friday and Cyber Monday are great for picking up bargains in the run up to Christmas… this year one of the largest high street chemists will be holding a Pink Saturday event the day after Black Friday - keep an eye out for this!
Get the children to bake homemade cookies and cakes, wrap in some cellophane from the local florists and the grandparents will be delighted.
Make a shopping list! So often we get distracted and buy things we don't need.
And finally, make sure you have eaten and take a drink with you, plus someone to help you carry the shopping bags! Christmas shopping is exhausting, but if you think ahead, before the shops get busy, this year will be a breeze ....