Last minute Christmas pitfalls
As part of Money for Life’s #12SavesofXmas, Andy Webb from Be Clever With Your Cash has shared the main ways you need to act fast to save cash, avoid stress, and a couple of times it can actually be cheaper at the last minute. You can view Andy’s other blog for us here.
Don’t leave it too late! We’re counting down until Christmas and the closer we get, the more expensive most things are going to get. Here are some ways you can avoid the pitfalls of a last minute Christmas disaster.
Expensive: Late train travel
Buy a ticket on the day and it’ll be stupidly expensive. But book now, or as soon as you know what day or time you need to get a train, and you can potentially save hundreds of pounds. Even booking the day before travel can save some decent cash.
Expensive: Rushed Delivery
If you order gifts now you’re likely to still get them delivered in time, hopefully for free. But if you wait too long to buy online you might have to pay a premium for faster shipping. If you can’t avoid it, see if you can collect for free in-store.
Plan ahead too for anything you need to send to avoid more expensive rush delivery prices. Plus the earlier you do it, the shorter the queues at the Post Office. Of course you can pay nothing if you’re able to hand deliver cards and pressies.
Annoying: Missing out
If there’s something you know you need to buy, especially any hot items, then you’re running the risk it’ll be out of stock. Even if you can find it, it could be the cast that it simply can’t be delivered in time.
Expensive: Panic buying presents
Missing out on what you want to get, or simply not knowing what to buy, inevitably leads to panic buying. Which is pretty much always going to be expensive!
Stressful: Battling the crowds
Anyone who’s been to a busy shopping centre in the days before Christmas knows it’s not too far off battling the zombie hoards of a horror movie. I’d be tempted to spend more than I planned just to escape! So get in early, get what you need, and get out.
Expensive: Not shopping around
If you’re short on time you’re also more likely to go to just one shop. But it often pays to shop around and find the lowest price, whether that’s a gift for your girlfriend or essentials for Christmas lunch. Use price comparison websites to help you find a deal.
Saving: Cut-price wrapping paper
I bet you’ve forgotten this haven’t you? Well if you can hold your nerve and leave it to a few days before Christmas, then you can probably pick up a roll in stock clearance. My top tip – buy plain red or silver paper and you can use it through the rest of the year for birthdays too.
Saving: Reduced Food
If you’re cooking this Christmas and willing to take a risk and potentially miss out on something, Christmas Eve is often the best time to pick up reduced food. The Christmassy things like turkey and mince pies are most likely to be marked down, but so will anything that has a sell-by date of Christmas Day or Boxing Day, as many shops won’t open at all those days. Clear out the freezer now to really take advantage.
Do you have advice on how to save money at Christmas? Look out for Money for Life’s new competition #12SavesOfXmas. Follow Money for Life on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more information about how you could win £100 vouchers of your choice.
- Go to Money Advice Service for free and impartial money advice.