The season of presents, parties, and spending money is upon us, but with the Christmas season, the costs can quickly add up.
If you’re worried about how you’ll pay for your celebration, our smart savings mama has explained how you can save £1,000 in time for Christmas.
Charlotte Jessop, 34, from Norwich, loves welcoming her two children, Emily, 7, and Alice, 5, for Christmas.
But she has a lot of money-saving tricks that you can use to keep your household on track, too.
This money will come in handy as many households are wondering if they can afford to spend Christmas on soaring bills.
Charlotte runs a financial blog, Looking After Your Pennies, and saves thousands of pounds each year using money-saving tricks to save money on shopping, bills and more.
From scrutinizing bills to selling old junk, she explains how you can save £1,000 in time for your big day.
But if you don’t have a budget yet, we recommend that Charlotte does one first.
“First, we need to review our spending and see what we can cut back so we can make a difference in our Christmas pot,” she said.
“With two paydays left until Christmas, we need a way to make a really big impact.”
With a ready-made budget planner like this one from Money Helper, you can get started right away.
Switch to a SIM only plan – £100
As the name suggests, SIM-only deals include a monthly fee that covers only mobile services, including minutes, text and data allowance.
A SIM-only contract requires the customer to already have a working mobile phone, as this type of contract does not include a mobile phone.
Making this deal is cheaper than a monthly payment contract. These include fixed monthly fees over an agreed term of 12, 18, or 24 months.
Covers both mobile charges and device costs.
“If your mobile contract is expiring or nearing it, it may be time to switch to a SIM-only plan,” Charlotte said.
“Doing this for the whole family could save at least £50 and up to £100 each month.”
Of course, how much you save depends on your current plan and the size of your family.
Ditch Your Subscription – £50
You may be tempted to sign up for the latest streaming services and entertainment packages.
But it comes at a cost. According to the latest stats, households spend over £45 each month on subscriptions.
It’s also possible that you signed up with a bank you completely forgot about. So check your bank statement carefully.
“If it’s TV packages, Netflix, Spotify, Audible, Amazon Prime, whatever you can easily cancel, do it,” Charlotte said.
“Even if we cancel some of them, we’ll save about £50 by Christmas.”
Try Food Waste App – £100
There are many food apps that can help you cut your shopping costs.
For example, Too Good To Go lets you buy food from stores and restaurants that would go to waste at the end of the day.
For example, you can get a bag of food from Morrisons for just £3.09.
“Foods are typically served in cafes, restaurants, and supermarkets and placed on the Olio app for collection,” says Charlotte.
“From now until Christmas, two or three free meals a week from Olio can save you at least £100.”
This is not the only app that can be used for saving. Shopmium, CheckoutSmart, GreenJinn, and ClickSnap are also useful.
These sites work by promising to make money on your purchases. They agree on offers with retailers and pass them on to customers.
Once you have an account, you can scroll through the deals listed on the site.
You can pick up your items at any large supermarket such as Tesco or Sainsbury’s.
You can receive cashback just by going to the store, purchasing the eligible products, taking a picture of the receipt and uploading it to the app.
Take advantage of bank switching deals – £200
Many banks and building societies offer bonuses when you switch accounts.
You can usually get free cash, vouchers, cashback, and special discount rates.
But be sure to read the small print, Charlotte said.
“There are now many deals offering up to £200 if you change bank accounts and meet the T&Cs,” she said.
For example, Nationwide is offering £200 for their customers to switch to a FlexDirect account.
However, to qualify, set up two direct debits that are valid within 60 days and get your free cash.
First Direct will pay new customers £175 in free cash when they switch to their first account.
£1,000 must be transferred when the account is opened, but there is no minimum monthly amount required to receive cash.
Once the transfer is complete, the customer must receive free cash within 28 days.
First Direct also offers new clients interest free overdraft on balances up to £250.
However, always remember that interest-free overdraft should only be used in an emergency or to get through a particularly expensive month.
NatWest and The Royal Bank of Scotland are also offering £175 in free cash to their customers.
NatWest Reward and RBS Reward checking accounts offer those who switch £175 cash and £3 cash back per month.
Sell old junk – £200
You may think that old junk is worthless, but it could be sitting in a treasure trove.
Old trainers, clothes, games and gadgets can be sold for hundreds of pounds online.
Some have become professional resellers after selling their unwanted items on sites like eBay, Vinted, and Depop.
For example, former farmer Kieran Burnett earns up to £1,800 a month selling used clothes and shoes.
‘Look around the house for anything you want to sell. Your house could be worth at least £200,’ said Charlotte.
If you’re new to the resale game, you can round up 10 unused items that you may have lying around your house to £1,235.
Your old phone might be worth £84, but Lego could be worth a staggering £29.
Sign up for market research – up to £250
You can increase your income by signing up for market research. Market research asks for your opinion on a topic or product, video or in person.
For example, takepartinresearch.co.uk previously offered £110 if you were chosen to try out a new face powder for four weeks, but video call opinions on topics like car insurance start at £40. I was.
There is no guarantee that you will be able to sign up for all available market research schemes. There are a limited number of locations and eligibility criteria.
But if you spend your time doing the cut, it might be worth it, Charlotte said.
“If you are chosen, you can get anywhere between £50-250 for your time,” she said.
Other sites to try are Saros, Angelfish Opinions, and Research Opinions.
Become a Mystery Shopper – £100
Some brands allow you to shop for free, and in some cases you can even buy online.
We expect you to provide feedback on your shopping experience, including customer service and store appearance.
We once spoke to a father who earns £1,500 a year from online surveys and mystery shopping.
You can do that at the same time you do your Christmas shopping, Charlotte said.
“A lot of the mystery shopping opportunities are for cafes and restaurants, and they pay you and compensate you for food and drink,” she said.
“Drink this a few times a week and you’ll have another £100 on top of the drinks and snacks you can enjoy by Christmas.”
Here are 50 ways to increase your income during the cost of living crisis.
One smart saver explained that he earned £30 an hour with a simple side job.