Christmas on a shoestring

Paula ClarkChristmas, TipsLeave a Comment

If you’re feeling the pinch this Christmas it might be time to get creative with how and what you gift your loved ones.

Here are our top five favourite tips for buying presents on a tight budget:

Secret Santa for family and friends

Rather than spreading your resources thin by buying presents for every person in your family or friendship group, why not suggest playing Secret Santa and, even better, impose a limit on how much each person should spend. £5 – or even just £1 – might sound mean, but you’ll be amazed how much more thought (and creativity) goes into the gifts people get each other to make every penny count.

Be upfront and tell people you’re not buying expensive presents

There’s no shame in admitting that Christmas is a financial strain for you. Most people will be relieved they’re not the only ones struggling, and appreciate being let off the hook too. Remember, at the end of the day your loved ones want the best for you. While it’s tempting to splurge on them, they’d be genuinely upset to subsequently find out their gift is going to put you out of pocket.

Keep track of your spending

Unless you use cash or a Union Prepaid Plus Cashback card, it can be easy to forget how much you’ve spent. Make sure you shop more mindfully by loading your card before every shopping spree, or drawing a set amount from the cash (please note there is a charge for ATM withdrawal – click here for the fees) and calling it a day when you’re down to the last five pounds.

Make as many presents as possible

If you’re good in the kitchen, a homemade box of truffles or gingerbread men will go down a treat. If you enjoy sewing, try an all-purpose lined tote to carry their stuff in style, or a tablet cover for their iPad. If you haven’t got the time, talents or inclination, you can still DIY your Christmas by putting together personalised hampers of favourite foodstuffs – Pinterest is a great website for inspiration.

Budget and shop at our partner retailers for cashback

Before stepping foot in a shopping centre this Christmas, be very clear about how much money you want to spend on food and gifts – and stick to it. Our prepaid card can be a great help here – by only loading what you’ve planned to spend, there’s far less chance of going over-budget. And, of course, you use it with any of our partner retailers you’ll be rewarded with cashback on all your purchases there. Your cashback will be credited when you next top up.

Leave a Reply