Christmas may be fast approaching but it’s not too late to start saving or making money to fatten up your Christmas savings pot.
Last Christmas was different for most of us; unable to get together with family, and feeling the pinch from lost work, lots of people experienced an unusual festive season.
But even if you’re still feeling the effects of the pandemic this year (and let’s face it, most of us are), there’s no reason to despair. There are lots of things you can do to get your Christmas savings off to a strong start - even at this late stage.
If you did them all, you could save up to £1,000 by Christmas.
Give up takeaway coffees - save up to £105
Takeaway coffees may have given us a taste of normality during the lockdowns, but do you know how much your daily Costa is costing on a monthly basis? The average cost of a takeaway latte is £2.63, which is £13.15 a week or £52.60 in a typical working month. And that’s without added extras like non-dairy milk or a sneaky chocolate brownie. With 2 months until Christmas, this could save you £105.20.
Pack your own lunch - save £200
Buying lunch every day is another expensive habit that adds up quickly. Spending even just £5-£6 a day on working lunches until Christmas will cost over £100 per month - so you can save around £200 by Christmas. Think how many Christmas presents you could buy with that and take in a packed lunch instead.
Switch bank accounts and get up to £130
Banks and building societies often offer incentives in a bid to win your custom, but some of the current cash incentives are worth considering, especially if you’re not too happy with your existing account. Find out how to get up to £130 by switching.
Sell £100 of unwanted goods
Make a quick £100 (or more) by selling items online. With so many selling platforms these days it’s easy, quick, and sometimes free to get rid of your unused and unwanted items. Listing on Facebook Marketplace is always free and is the perfect place to sell kids' toys and home goods. Apps such as Depop are ideal for selling clothes and bags, and eBay is still good for some higher-value items.
Save your change - save approx £15
A handy way of saving money is to use a 'save the change app' or feature that comes with a lot of accounts now. Starling and Monzo have a save the change app, as does Halifax. Every time you spend on your debit card, they’ll round it up to the nearest pound and pop the change into a savings account or jar for you. You’ll barely notice it happening and you’ll be surprised how quickly it adds up.
For example, if you spend £2.60 on that takeaway latte, the app will put away 40p. Even if you only saved 40p a day like this from the start of November, you’d have an extra £15.60 by Christmas - and that's just on coffee!
Another way to save money before Christmas arrives is to try a no-spend challenge.
Ditch the takeaways - save up to £160
Takeaways are a firm UK favourite, but they’re not cheap. Save pounds in your pocket and on your waistline too, just in time for Christmas. If you usually spend £20 a week on a takeaway, you could be adding £160 to your Christmas savings pot if you start in November.
If you really need your Chinese or pizza fix, have a go at making your own takeaways, and not only will you save money but you can get the whole family involved too.
Cancel an unused gym membership - £80
The average gym subscription comes to about £40 a month. You could consider cancelling your membership and trying cheaper ways to get fit, like running, or using apps or YouTube as inspiration, for example. This could save you around £80 by Christmas.
Start a side hustle - approx £225
If you’ve got some spare time on your hands, then consider making some money on the side by offering your skills to people in need. From putting together flat-pack furniture to cleaning or gardening, you could build a nice pot of money by the time Christmas arrives. There are several odd job sites where you can find work, or keep an eye on local Facebook groups where people often advertise when they’re looking for some help.
You can earn up to £1,000 from this type of work before you have to start paying tax but do check that this won’t affect any benefits you may be on. If you did 15 hours before Christmas, at £15 an hour, you'd have an extra £225.
Need more ideas? Here are some other stress-free savings you can make.
Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.