How to avoid over-spending at Christmas

Your friends are wearing horrendous jumpers, lights are hanging from every inch of your house and you can’t escape the sound of Mariah Carey. This can only mean one thing – the Christmas season is here! Whilst we may jump with joy at the thought of time off work, great food and gifts, the cost of Christmas shopping may have already begun to linger in the back of your mind. Here, Busy Bees Benefits, a provider of an employer dependent Retail Discounts scheme, explains the best ways to avoid over-spending this Christmas: 
1.    Gift cards make great presents
We’ve all been there – you need to purchase a gift for a friend and up until now, you thought you knew them quite well. However, now that Christmas is here, you feel like you don’t know them at all as you’re completely lost as to what gift they’d truly love to unwrap.  
In this situation it’s incredibly easy to overspend. If you have no idea what you’re looking for, you might be more inclined to purchase a variety of things or something outside of your usual budget to compensate for your guilt of not knowing what to buy. If you have no idea what you’re looking for then opt for a gift card. Gift cards can often be purchased up to 10% cheaper than the card’s actual value*, meaning savings can be made and your friendships can remain intact. 
2.    Make sure you get cashback whenever you can
Let’s face it – Christmas is always one of the most expensive times of the year. You’re likely to make a variety of purchases in a variety of places. On reading that you might hear the cries of fear from your wallet, but you need not worry as spending in a variety of places is great for building up cashback funds. 
If you know you’ll be ordering gifts online this festive season, make sure you have a cashback account set up so you can feel a sense of accomplishment when reach the end of your Christmas shop. You can make a significant amount in cashback over the Christmas period – and what better way to build up funds for the January sales! 
3.    Always look for discount codes
This may be the most obvious tip in our guide, but the savings here are often vast. If your employer isn’t a provider of a retail discount scheme, make sure you’re scouring the net for discount codes. Whether shopping online or on the high street, discount codes can allow for brilliant savings. 
4.    Purchase a discount card for your grocery shop
When the time comes to collect your turkey from the supermarket, there’s no question that your trolley will also be filled with a variety of other Christmas goodies. From the Christmas pudding to the Boxing Day treats, your grocery shop is likely to be more expensive than usual. Plan ahead for your grocery costs by purchasing a discount card for your local supermarket. As mentioned above, these cards can be purchased at up to 10% cheaper than the cards value. This means that if you plan to spend £100 on your food shop, it could actually cost you as little as £90. 
5.    Heading to the panto?
Over Christmas, you may look for ways to keep the kids occupied. Many of us head to the panto to see our favourite shows. If you enjoy spending family time at the theatre over Christmas, make sure you purchase your tickets early. Not only will you have access to early bird ticket prices, but some ticket providers offer discount codes that can be used in conjunction with these tickets. Current outlets on the Busy Bees Benefits scheme include TicketMaster, Encore Tickets and Online Ticket Store.  
And there you have it, the top five ways to save money this Christmas. If you’ve had enough of rummaging through pages of the internet for discount codes or would like to purchase gift cards at a lower rate, ask your employer about retail discount schemes. 
Still need a bit of convincing? An employer with over 7,000 employees enrolled onto the Busy Bees Benefits scheme at the beginning of September and within one month, staff had already made savings worth over £4,500. Over the Christmas period, you can imagine how much greater these savings will be!

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