The John Lewis ad is out, the weather has turned colder, and Strictly is not far away from its conclusion. Bloggers are posting gift guides. It’s that time of the year… Christmas is coming! As a family it is often one of the most thrilling times of year, with mirth and excitement in the air as the holidays approach.



But for all the fun and treasured memories, there is one unfortunate truism about Christmas: it isn’t the cheapest time of year. In fact, a study at the end of last year showed that the average British family spends over £800 on Christmas alone. It is one of the big reasons the post-Christmas comedown can be so severe, with January generally regarded as the darkest month of the year – and along with the weather, you understand why.

Though there are ways that you can avoid this and still enjoy the festive season. Remember it’s all about Nordic “hygge” this year which really means to just enjoy the simpler things in life and spend time with family.

Savvy Saver at Christmas Time

First of all, the best thing to do is build up a good Christmas kitty. Prevention is better than cure, as they say. There is still another payday between now and the festive season, so ideally you’ll want to lie as low as you can until next month to see what you can put aside. But it isn’t just about how much you save – it’s what you do with it as well. Rates are being slashed left, right and centre for savings accounts, which makes alternatives like peer-to-peer lending more attractive. Do your research first though, but it is something that’s worth considering.

Budget, Budget, Budget

I’ll happily admit that I’m not the best when it comes to budgeting and too easily get drawn in by a good offer. Though making a budget will help you save. Some people think it’s old fashioned, but budgeting is still one of the most effective ways of keeping spending under control. So be sure to set aside an hour or two one evening with your partner or whoever you are hosting Christmas with, and break it all down. Christmas dinner. Travel. Presents. More presents. Expenses run up, especially if you have kids.

Set a cap on everything, and then work as a team to ensure that you stick to these targets. You could even turn it into a challenge. Either way, having spending limits will force you to be creative, which may also turn out to be more fun than you’d think and you can involve your little ones as well.

Use Your Credit Card Wisely

It is the time of year when the plastic gets swiped (or tapped) more often than usual. But there are good ways and bad ways to use your credit card. Given the various cashback and reward schemes out there, it’s a great way to accumulate bonuses and perks. The flip side of the coin is if you build up a balance which you can’t pay off at the end of the month, leaving you potentially exposed to high rates of interest. Of course, a good way to avoid this is to use a 0 per cent credit card such as the Halifax Purchase Card, thus negating the problem entirely.


Secret Santa

The game of Secret Santa is a gift from the Gods of Thrift. Aside from being a lot of fun, this is a great way to cut down your budget for Christmas presents. I’m participating in a blogger’s one this year, which should be great fun. So whether it’s within the family, your circle of friends or colleagues at work, be sure to suggest this game with a nominal price ceiling. That way everyone can be involved, enjoy the fun and surprise, and, as a bonus, save some money while still being in the spirit of giving.

The Festive Fivers

We’re not looking to host a big Christmas this year, but if you have a large family, or a wide circle of friends, inevitably the gift shopping list will be a long one – even if you do play Secret Santa here and there. But isn’t it difficult to come up with different ideas for affordable gifts? Not really… provided you use a bit of imagination. This great list of 50 festive gifts for under a fiver should more than have you covered.


Feed the Hungry without Paying a Penny

Stretched as our wallets may be at this time, the truth is that there are many more people in worse situations than we are. But you can help, and you can do so for free! All you have to do is go to a page called the Hunger Site, where if you click on the orange banner titled ‘Click here – it’s free’, a cup of staple foodstuff will be purchased for an underprivileged person somewhere in the world. It sounds too good to be true, but it isn’t. It’s just a good PR exercise for the companies involved, while you get to feel good for helping someone in need.

What are your best tips to save a little this Christmas?


Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday


  1. I’ll admit that we’re one of those people who spend WAY too much at Christmas. I tend to find things for the girls everywhere and just go “ooo cute!” and buy it rather than think whether we need it. And then of course credit card bill comes around and it’s a stinger! But this year I’m trying to be good and have bought a lot of things over the year ready for Christmas. I just need to find them now!

    Thanks for linking up with #KCACOLS and hope to see you again soon x

  2. I love the secret santa idea. As a family we always come up with an amount to spend on per kids and stick to it. We also don’t buy for adults except for my mum and youngest sister as she doesn’t have any kids #kcacols

  3. A lot of my kids presents are things that we would need to buy anyway like new coats (I’m stretching the old ones out ATM- the Boy’s zip broke the other day but luckily it has velcro fastening too!!), lunch boxes and clothing. This just gives them more to open without buying for the sake of them having lots of presents. We also do a big box filled with balloons which they usually end up playing in for the rest of the hols- kids love a box!! xx #KCACOLS

  4. Secret Santa is a god send when you have large familys! I’ve not heard of the Hunger site, but will head over and check it out! #KCACOLS

  5. Thank you so much for the festive fivers that list wil come in helpful. I always go crazy at Christmas as I love the magic it can bring but it seems to get more & more expensive every year.

  6. We do Secret santa a lot these days – it has really saved a lot! I buy christmas cards in the sales for the following year, and buy presents for nieces and nephews etc whenever they’re on sale throughout the year #kcacols

  7. I’m budget mad so this is a great post for me! Our family spend on the kids and get a token present for the adults, the kids get a magical Christmas and we get to stuff our faces with chocolate and biscuits!


  8. My credit card has been a killer this year as we moved house and I’ve been throwing everything onto it willy nilly. With Christmas now almost upon us I’ve panicked but I’ve learnt my lesson. From January I mean starting a Christmas kitty for 2017 to make things easier #kcacols

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