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EXCLUSIVE: Christmas shopping advice from Money expert Kate Pattinson

Christmas can be an expensive time of year which is why it’s so important to take money tips where we can find them! We’ve got some EXCLUSIVE tips from money expert Kate Pattinson from Ashleigh Money Saver, to help you get through the festive season.

Part of our exclusive series with Kate who every month will share top Christmas shopping advice.

Make Lists & Stick To Budgets

It’s super easy to overspend at Christmas, particularly when you’re stressed and in a rush. Before you take on the hectic shops, make yourself a battle plan! List all of the people you need to buy for, decide on an overall budget, decide how much you want to spend on each person- and stick to it! Yes it’s easier to just grab that overpriced best-seller on the shelf, but this is where you’ll lose a lot of your hard earned cash. If you’re on a real mission to save some money, make sure you start looking ahead of time. You can scope out which shops have the lowest prices on items too so you don’t pay over the odds.

Making a list

Once you have your list and have a rough idea of what you want, make a plan of which shops you’re going to visit and in what order. This way you can get in and out the shops fast and won’t get as distracted with all of the offers on display.

Get Crafting

If you’re particularly artistic or are handy with a sewing machine, why not make your presents and decorations instead of buying them? There’s loads of great ideas on Pinterest if you need some inspiration.

Christmas crafting essentials

When it comes to decor, why not go with a vintage theme this festive season and dig out the coloured card? You could make everything from paper chain bunting and giant paper snowflakes for the windows, to wreaths made from foraged holly, ribbons, and baked oranges. Crafting is a great way to spend some quality time with the kids and will give your home a traditional, twee look too, as well as saving you big bucks on expensive decor which won’t bring anywhere near as much heart to your home.

Similarly, when it comes to prezzies, why not try making or baking something lovely? You don’t have to spend a fortune on your folks to impress them. Use your skills! Why not bake your signature cookies and wrap them in pretty cellophane, knit them a scarf, or paint them a picture? Receiving a homemade present that you have spent time on is sure to be a lot more special to them than something you picked up off the shelf that everyone has.

A hamndmade Christmas wreath

Shop On Discount Days

You’ll definitely want to take advantage of big discount days too such as Cyber Monday and Black Friday. On these days you’ll be able to bag some of the biggest bargains on must have gifts, and if you aim to do much of your shopping on these days you’re sure to save huge amounts. Top tip: before the sales start, set up online alerts and scour the internet for the items you want, and favourite them so that on the day you can snap up the best deals before they sell out.

Buy Your Presents After Christmas

The truth is, in the run up to Christmas, some stores may hike their prices in anticipation of desperate shoppers. But there’s nothing worse than spending a fortune on your family’s gifts, to then go shopping after the big day and find that half of the items you bought have been reduced to disgustingly low prices. So, if your family aren’t too precious about opening their presents on the big day, why not venture out to the shops on Boxing Day instead? Gift your family the money you would have spent on them and go shopping as a family. No you won’t get the surprise element of opening presents on Christmas morning, but you’ll save a stack due to the huge reductions. Plus, they’ll get exactly what they want!

Wrapped Presents

Reward Me Now

One of the quickest and simplest ways to save money, even in the run up to Christmas, is by becoming a member of Reward Me Now! The instant discount app gives you instant, exclusive discounts on everything from toys to fashion. Simply buy an eGift Card through the app and enjoy savings instantly! You’ll be able to grab everything from that trending games console to stunning jewellery for less. You can even save on top of sale items too, it’ll make your money go even further in those Boxing Day sales!

So there you have Kate Pattinsons top Christmas money saving tips. You can find more from Kate on www.ashleighmoneysaver.co.uk

This is a part of a monthly series, so join us in October for more amazing money saving advice.

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