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Top Tips To Help You Save For A Festive Break

Christmas Piggy BankIt’s never easy trying to find extra money for a family holiday in the sun or a Christmas break to visit Santa in Lapland, it’s never to soon to start saving so we’ve put together a few ideas that might just help you on your way.

The 365 day Penny Challenge

This is a really simple idea and if you can complete the challenge you should have around £671 to put towards your family break.

All you have to do is save an extra penny each day – starting on 1st January with 1p and increasing by 1p every day – so day 2 would be 2p, day 3, 3p and so on until the end of the year.

Write a weekly shopping list

Make sure to keep a notepad in the kitchen and write down anything you need to feed the family for a full week. Don’t forget to add in snacks etc for school meals and a little treat for everyone at the weekend – sweets/crisps for the kids and a bottle of wine for the adults.

When you go to your favourite supermarket only buy the items on your shopping list you’ll be amazed how much you’ll save by sticking to it. Put the ‘saved’ amount into a savings jar and watch it mount up!

Sell your clutter on eBay

Ebay Christmas baubleTake a look around your home and garage and you’ll be amazed at how many things are just gathering dust. Toys and games that the kids have outgrown, clothing that’s either too big or too small. Ornaments that once took pride of place but are now relegated to the back of a cupboard. We’ve all got them and we all wonder why on earth we don’t just get rid of them.

The answer is simple, get out the camera and take pictures of these unwanted items and put them up for sale locally or use ebay – you’ll be surprised how quickly you can make savings for Christmas!

Shop Online
Let your fingers do the walking as you surf your way around thousands of shops searching for those special Xmas gifts or essentials that you need.

You’ll find it much more convenient, after all the stores never close and you can shop in the comfort of your own home in the knowledge that you don’t even have to go and collect your item as it will be delivered direct to your door. Clothing and gifts tend to be considerably cheaper online and as every penny counts you’ll be surprised just how much of a difference there is.

Get More For Your Money
Before you rush out to buy your Christmas travel essentials, it’s worth remembering that you may well get more for your money overseas. International Currency Exchange have done some research and found out exactly how many items and day-to-day essentials £10 get us around the World.

  • Unless jetting away to Austria or Denmark, Brits are better off purchasing their sun cream abroad – with a tenner not even covering the cost of one bottle.
  • While your £10 will stretch the furthest in Vietnam, milk is actually less affordable than in the UK.

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  • The United Arab Emirates is one of the more expensive countries across the board – except for when it comes to cigarettes, where only Vietnam offer cheaper rates.
  • while £10 may buy you 3.3 pints of beer in the UK, in Vietnam, the same amount could buy you 21.
  • Here in the UK, £10 could stretch as far as 11 bottles of water, while in the sweltering heat of Dubai, £10 will get you a mere 3.5 bottles.

As prices and currencies fluctuate throughout the world it’s worth checking out what bargains you could pick up while on holiday.

Travel tips for booking worldwide flights
According to new global travel statistics from momondo.co.uk, Brits can save money by booking flights at least 53 days in advance of their departure.

  • Christmas Travel - FlightsBook your trip 53 days in advance to get the cheapest tickets – and you can achieve average savings of 26%
  • Tickets are generally most expensive on the day of departure
  • Evening departures between the hours of 6pm and 12am typically offer the cheapest fares
  • It is usually more expensive to fly in the morning and midday, before 3pm
  • A Tuesday is generally the cheapest day to fly
  • Saturday is routinely the most expensive day of the week to fly

It’s certainly worth checking out prices following the guidelines above and hopefully grabbing a bargain on the way.

Save money on your energy bills
Take a close look at your energy bills and trim them down to size, even small changes can make a big difference in costs.  These tips from AgeUK are worthy of a closer look.

  • Check – Even something as simple as paying by direct debit could help you save up to £100 – talk to your provider to make sure you’re getting their best deal.
  • Switch -You could potentially save around £200, particularly if you have never switched before
  • Insulate – Save up to £240 by making sure your home is properly insulated before winter, and save even more by making small everyday changes to save energy.

Womena with credit cardCash or Card?
Putting your holiday on a credit card can add hundreds of pounds to the cost. Save up for it and you’ll come home relaxed, not restless with money worries.

Saving up for a holiday and paying for it with cash is usually the best option for your finances.

However, if you can save up the full amount in cash, paying for your holiday with a credit card might be a good idea as it’s likely to be protected under the Consumer Credit Act.

Follow these four steps from the MoneyAdviceCentre and watch your savings grow!

  • Step 1 Set a budget
    This will stop the cost of your holiday spiraling out of control by avoiding ‘extras’ you haven’t planned for.
  • Make a list all the things you’ll need to buy, including: travel insurance,travel money,car hire,holiday clothes and swimwear,sun cream and toiletries.
  • Then estimate the amount you’ll spend each day on:food and drink,travel,entertainment and holiday treats. Add these costs together and you have your savings goal

Step 2 Start saving

  • You don’t miss what you don’t have. Treat saving the same as paying a bill, and commit to saving a regular sum each month or week.
  • Be realistic – it’s better to commit to a small, manageable sum than to try too hard and give up

Step 3 Stash your savings

  • It’s time to start thinking about where to stash your festive savings.
  • You might start with a coin jar, but make sure you transfer your money to a savings account when it builds up to a tidy sum. This way, you can earn a bit of interest on top.

Step 4 Watch your savings grow

  • Check your savings regularly to see how you’re doing. Set yourself small targets along the way and treat yourself as you hit each milestone.
  • When you reach your goal for this year’s holiday, set a new, higher target for next year until all your trips are credit-free. And remember to take your money-saving habits on holiday with you.

Sneaky but Clever

Before You Hit The ‘Buy’ Button take a look at these clever tips from Mumsnet.

  • If you’ve found your perfect holiday, it’s WELL worth bobbing on to another device before you hit the ‘buy’ button. Sometimes a ‘new’ customer gets a lower price – so if you’ve researched on your phone/tablet, login via a desktop to make the final purchase, or vice versa. You can also delete cookies in your browser settings to remove any trace of your search, for the same result.
  • Tesco, Nectar, flight loyalty cards etc, can all be used on travel purchases, so use these to help spread the costs.
  • Do go through your booking with an eagle eye and check you’ve not been charged for optional extras you don’t need (or do need but don’t need to buy from the airline). We’re looking at in-flight meals, speedy boarding and travel insurance.
  • Head somewhere away from the usual tourist haunts and you should find costs cheaper across the board.

Do you have money saving tips that always help with the cost of Christmas travel?  Get in touch using the media buttons below and share your holiday savings tips.

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