It’s that time of year again: when shopping becomes a national obsession. From parties and presents to food and festive outfits, whether you shop online or hit the high streets, the Christmas period is a time for spending. So, as Reuters reports that UK shoppers look set to spend a massive £1.4bn more this Christmas, we’ve put together a few savvy tips to help you spend wisely.
Whether you relish the opportunity to indulge your loved ones or prefer to take a more considered approach to the festivities, a little bit of planning can go a long way to ensuring that you welcome the New Year without a financial hangover.
A great way to start your festive shopping spree is by setting a budget. Agree who you’re going to buy for, and how much you’ll spend on each family member and friend. Food can be a hidden cost too, so plan your menu for meals and parties, and stick to it!
Making a list (and checking it twice) is an absolute must – it will help you avoid impulse purchases when you’re on a shopping mission by focusing your mind when you’re faced with an array of fabulous gift ideas or mouth-watering Christmas delicacies. Sounds simple, but it really does help you stay in control of your festive spending and stay within your financial plan.
Starting your shopping early is also a great way to ensure you don’t overspend. Not only does it give you time to think about what you’re buying, but also where you can get it at the best price. Use online sites to compare prices – it’s quick, easy and can save you a surprising amount of money. Though if you do leave your present buying to the last minute, there could be pre-Christmas sales to take advantage of.
A well-chosen credit card can also be a good option for sensible shoppers. Opt for a card that earns you rewards virtually every time you spend – or one that pays you to shop, like the American Express Platinum Cashback Card. A flexible way to make your purchases, it not only earns you a generous 5% cashback on purchases up to £2,500 in the first three months, but you’ll enjoy Refund and Purchase Protection, too. So, whether you’re splashing the cash or keeping it simple, it could be a valuable shopping companion this Christmas and beyond. Representative 18.7% APR variable.