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American Express Shares Expert Advice For Those Planning To Start Christmas Shopping

American Express recently conducted a survey which found that one in seven brits have already started Christmas shopping.  The survey also outlines how much money is spent on different areas of Christmas. The results were quite surprising, see below!

Christmas Money Saving Tips - UnderTheChristmasTree

According to the survey, between gifts, decorations & entertainment etc, we spend an average of £1689 each year on Christmas, that’s a lot of money!  With that said, many savvy consumers are bringing that figure down considerably simply by being thrifty and planning throughout the year.

Believe it or not, the least amount of the budget is spent on buying gifts, with Brits spending on average of £133 on our Christmas gifts.

Eating through our budgets is actually Food and Drink (see what we did there?) as we spend an average of £587 over the festive season.  Being aware of what we spend and the areas where we spend is one of the biggest steps towards properly managing our finances better for the festive season.

Buying gifts in advance and collecting points on food shops throughout the year is definitely something we here at UTCT are doing to prepare for the festive season.

One of the best tips we’ve ever came up with, (can you hear us blowing our own trumpet?) is to put a large box in your home which is the ‘Christmas Box’.  Throughout the year, keep an eye out for special offers on non perishable goods that can be laid aside for the festive season. For example, we always buy our Christmas Crackers in the January sales and store them for the festive season. The same applies for Napkins and Christmas Cards when they are at their lowest price.

We recommend keeping an eye online for printable vouchers, online deals etc where you might find “2 for 1” or “£2 off” kinds of deals. It might only be September but we already have the following:

  • Christmas Crackers
  • Christmas Cards
  • Napkins
  • Sellotape Dispensers
  • Wrapping Paper
  • Name Tags
  • Bows & Ribbons
  • Tin Foil
  • Cling Film
  • Turkey Tray
  • Kitchen Rolls
  • Toilet Rolls
  • Festive Handwash
  • Festive Candles
  • Postage Stamps
  • Festive Air Freshner
  • Christmas Pudding
  • Alcohol
  • Gifts

The list extends week by week so that by Christmas time, that £587 is significantly less.

Other areas we spend on include Christmas Getaways, Festive Experiences (Pantomimes, Ice skating etc) and Decorations.  To save on these areas the same rules apply, websites such as Groupon, Money Saving Expert and Quidco are ideal for deals.

We’re not the only ones with Money Saving Christmas tips, American Express suggests:

  • Plan your budget – It’s important to keep track of your festive spending. Now is a good time to write a list of the number of presents you intend to buy and for whom, so you can work out the right amount of money to set aside and spread the cost over the rest of the year.
  • Look out for sales – if you are buying for someone that has a favourite brand, sign-up to email alerts now so you can take advantage of sale items.
  • Book travel now – As many people travel over the Christmas period you may want to consider booking travel now, such as air fares. Also remember that you can book rail tickets as early as July for travel over the festive period.
  • Points make presents – Check how many rewards points you have on your credit or charge card. You may well have enough to redeem against some early Christmas presents.
  • Save some festive shopping for December – Remember there will be offers closer to Christmas time from both small and big retailers. If you are planning your budget now, put some aside for later in the year to maximise on upcoming offers and events.

Have you started your Christmas Shopping? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below

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