5 New Years tips to save you money – this will be the best day of your life if you follow these tips!

Plan for affordability, not desirability

Before you start planning, consider this: many list every lusted-for item, gifts for all, and a corking meal, then only afterwards consider: “How will I pay for it?” That’s a recipe to be broke.

Instead, calculate your budget (see the free Budget Planner), and ask: “What can I afford to spend on Christmas?” Christmas is one day – don’t ruin the whole of the next year for it.

Is it time to BAN unnecessary Christmas presents?

Consider not giving next Christmas. We’re not talking about gifts from parents or to grandchildren, but the ever-widening glut of friends, extended family and colleagues.

Christmas isn’t a retail festival – we need to end obliged giving and think more about what we’re giving, to whom and why.

If you’re yelling over your wrapping paper “what about the joy of giving?”, remember gift-giving creates an obligation on recipients to give back, whether they can afford it or not. For some, the gift of “not obliging you to buy for me” is actually better. Read Scrooge McLewis’s blog: Ban unnecessary Christmas gifts.

You could always make a No Unnecessary Present Pact (Nupp) with friends, or at least agree to a Secret Santa or £5 to £10 cap on gifts? If you’re scared to broach this taboo, our free Nupp Tool generates the email for you.

Give charity gifts

Want to give, but don’t want to waste cash on tat? Yule love our rundown of wonderful and weird Charity Gifts, which includes how much goes to good causes.

Gifts start from a few pounds and include school supplies, clean water or a livestock.

Boost funds by 4% with supermarket stamps

Supermarket saving stamps schemes encourage year-long saving for Christmas, yet a loophole allows you to get a year’s bonus in one day.

Most stores pay it depending on how much you’ve saved by a specific day or month. So dunk the cash in the day before, and it’ll add up to 4% on top, but the cash must be spent at its stores. Full info in the Xmas Spending Boost guide.

Save with the free Christmas IOU generator

Before Christmas is the year’s costliest shopping time, January sales the cheapest. So if you’re after a big-ticket family purchase like a telly or games console… wait. Give the kids a nicely-wrapped IOU, telling them you’re waiting for the sales.

You could also buy a small extra gift from potential savings to show the benefit of waiting. This way, kids get a triple whammy: the gift, the extra and a lesson in money sense. Use our Christmas IOU Generator.

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