Money Saving Updated:
How much are you planning to spend this festive season? Well, according to research from American Express, it could tot up to a staggering £1,490, so it's time to see where savings could be made!
The almost-£1,500 total may seem like a sum that you'd never spend in just a few weeks, but breaking down the figures shows that it may not be that far off. The total includes everything from traditional expenditure on gifts (£355) and the big festive food shop (£125), to the cost of hosying a Christmas party (£110) and new clothes for the season (£87), with Christmas jumpers and a new outfit for the office night out often high on the list of priorities.
And what about festive getaways? An increasing number of Brits are enjoying trips to Christmas markets both in the UK and abroad, with the average spend coming in at £226. After you add in the cost of travelling to visit loved ones (£96), Christmas catch ups (£97), the office party (£86), festive entertainment such as pantomimes (£88), new decorations (£56) and even home improvements (£164), you'll soon see how quickly the total can rise – and you may not even be factoring these kinds of costs into your festive budget.
If that sounds like far too much to spend in the next few weeks, fear not – there are ways to cut the cost! In fact, American Express's research found that respondents plan to cut their Christmas shopping bill by 74% by redeeming reward points and cashback that they've saved throughout the year, while 32% will take advantage of retailer offers, 16% will shop at cheaper supermarkets and 13% will agree a price limit with their loved ones.
Here are a few extra tips to help keep your festive spending in check:
"Christmas is always an expensive time of year, but tightening the purse strings doesn't have to mean being less generous," commented Darren Williams from PromotionalCodes.org.uk. "It's all about using your time efficiently, getting smart with online shopping and using the money saving resources available to you for free (like discount codes), and for big presents you need to do your research and compare prices for all different outlets to find the best deal. Don't just panic buy or be hoodwinked by Christmas marketing; take your time and you'll reap the rewards."
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