The Christmas season can often cripple your finances, and the economic turmoil of 2017 hasn’t made it any easier. So here are a few simple tips on saving money during the Christmas season.
Ebay is filled to the brim with bargains; it still surprises me how some people have never used the auctioning website. Others, however, are obsessed with it. A second hand Xbox is just as cool as a new one, in my opinion. The controllers are a bit sticky? I’ll wipe them down.
Your children may not appreciate the idea of second hand presents as much, but you don’t have to tell them you bought them on ebay. If you’re buying for young children, they’ll probably break the toys within a week anyway.
I’ve worked at an Oxfam book store for a couple of months, and I constantly have the desire to run outside screaming at the passersby: ‘Bargains! Inside! Help the needy! Come on, we’re in a recession for goodness sake.’ The amount of rare and interesting books, records, movies and toys that leave the shelves every day astound me.
But why do people not shop at charity stores? Some are not managed as well, perhaps, as the Oxfam store I work at, where a regular influx of new products supplements the store. Is it because things are more difficult to find in a charity store? Believe me; the time you take to browse the shelves will be well worth the money saved.
One trick I’ve learnt on Google: search a product description, click on the ‘shopping’ tab and then select ‘Sort by: Price – Low to High’, this will give you a rough estimate of all the deals on the internet, and which of those are the cheapest. This trick may work on Amazon or Ebay as well, but Google is not partial to any specific site, meaning you will get a good overview of all sales on the web.
Directly after Christmas, there are manic sales to get rid of all the excess Christmas paraphernalia in stock. Remember, shops are begging you to take stuff off their hands, so let’s help them out. Storing crackers, decorations and Christmas cards for next year is a simple way of saving money, and, just think, your shopping list will be considerably shorter when the silly season comes around next year.
Also, get a duster cloth while you’re out, because the stuff you leave in storage will need a good polishing when it comes out.
Turn off the heating during the day while everyone is either at work or at school, even if, for example, you have a struggling writer marooned there while you’re away. The writer will survive.
Merry Christmas Everyone!