Sorry to say it, but Christmas is only 3 months away! Some of you will already be worrying about how you’re going to afford it this year. The presents, the food for not only Christmas day but all of those that surround it, not to mention the alcohol! So many households are still paying off their Christmas well into the new year (nearly 8 million people last year apparently!). It can be difficult to hold back at such a lovely time of year, especially if you’ve had a tough year as a family or have been spent much of the year penny pinching already.
Sell, sell, sell!
Have a clear out. It’s not only good to freshen up the home, but you might be able to sell some items online to put towards the Christmas fund. Clothes or shoes you’ve only worn once? Baby items the kids have grown out of? Garden furniture or kids outdoor play equipment? Stick them on eBay, Shpock or Vinted, and for the bigger things you might need Shiply to help you find an ebay courier.
If you’d rather not tackle online selling, why not pop down to a car boot sale and sell in person – particularly good if you don’t want to be popping back and forth to the post office or have smaller items you think might sell better as a collection.
You’d be surprised with what people will buy, so consider selling anything unwanted that’s in good condition – give it a go!
Do some small tasks
It’s the era of the ‘gig economy’, where people are willing to pay others to do tasks they don’t want to do themselves or don’t have time to do. As a result of this, anyone can sign up to do small tasks for others in their area with apps like Tasker and TaskRabbit including collecting someone’s shopping, installing flat pack furniture or putting up shelves. The real trick to this one is to incorporate these tasks with what you were going to do anyway: need to visit Tesco to pick up a few bits? Why not pick up someone else’s shopping too and drop it off for them on the way home? Driving to another town to visit family? Why not drop off a package that needs to go along the same route? Look at your calendar and see what you can easily fit into your existing routine.
Be smart with your shopping
When you get round to starting your Christmas shopping, be smart with your purchasing. Look on cashback sites like QuidCo and TopCashBack before making an online purchase to see what money you could get back. The buying process is the same, but you just need to make sure you click through from the cashback site first to ensure you get the money back. This is particularly good for larger purchases as cash back percentages are low.. If you don’t think you’ll remember doing this for every purchase, try it just for the big buys like the food order, or purchases over around £30.
If you’re buying specific items (rather than just browsing), take a look on sites like eBay and Amazon which might sell the same product cheaper than the brand’s main website. Don’t be put off buying second hand, as many items on eBay are brand new complete with tags and original packaging. It’s worth a look!
Deals will start popping up in the lead up to Christmas, so try and take advantage of a deal before it disappears again.
For the more decorative side of Christmas, see what you can make at home to avoid having to buy. Things like decorations for the tree or around the home can be made out of everyday items, many of which look beautiful and are super easy to make. If you’ve got kids at home, maybe arrange an afternoon of making tree decorations out of toilet paper cardboard, paperchains out of magazines or a Christmassy centrepiece for the table inspired by something on Pinterest.
What do you do to raise funds for the holiday period?