Saving For Christmas – 7 Easy Tips to Get Started

Do you save for Christmas or prefer not to think about it until November?

I know it may seem a long way away but the sooner you start saving for Christmas the better.

Because before you know it, Christmas will be next week and you’re trying to cram in last minute shopping and your budget is out of control.

Saving for Christmas might seem silly when it’s so far away, and really, you don’t spend that much on Xmas gifts do you??

I’ve learned the hard way that I have to plan in advance otherwise I get caught up in all the Christmas hype and get carried away with buying fun Xmas decorations and food gifts.

I didn’t used to like saving for Christmas for many reasons but the biggest reason was I disliked Christmas!

Why save for it when I actually dislike Christmas and everything that gets wrapped up in it and have to think about it months before it actually happened?

What To Do When You Just Can’t Afford Christmas

Why I Didn’t Save For Christmas

Much of my Christmas dislike was tied up in the whole food thing.

In my family we had to sit around the Christmas dinner table for hours on end with nibbles within reach and the adults chatting about boring stuff.

I ended up stuffing myself with food due to boredom as I wasn’t allowed to leave the table, watch TV or not be sociable.

Needless to say I do not have any of those traditions now that I am a grown up!

On top of my active dislike I also had these thoughts:

  • it’s so far away – I can save later on
  • it’s not essential spending, better to save for future car repairs
  • I don’t spend that much (oh really?!)
  • I won’t buy for so many people this year
  • I’m still paying off last year
  • its just a big roast dinner so no real extra cost
  • no need to buy all the nibbles as this year we’re going to be healthy
  • we can pay for it with October and November’s wages

But Christmas does happen every year and I eventually recognized that I needed to get myself a savings plan and budget.

I was causing myself more stress not planning for Christmas.

How to have an amazing Christmas on a budget

How to save for Christmas – 7 easy tips to get started. Budget for Christmas with these easy money tips. Work out your Christmas budget and start saving money. No need to go into debt to pay for Christmas when you can save every year. #christmassavings #saveforchristmas #christmas #savings #savemoney savingmoney #moneygoals

7 Easy Ways To Save For Christmas

ONE – Who Are You Buying For?

Might seem a simple question but often you forget until it’s present buying time just how many people you usually buy for.

Make a list of everyone you usually buy for.

If it’s more than 20 people you might want to reconsider whether a present for everyone is really necessary.

Are you exchanging gifts just for the sake of it? Could you do cards instead or secret Santa/token presents?

Related posts: How to Buy Xmas Gifts – When You’re On a Tight Budget

TWO – Budget Per Person

Next you should identify what your Xmas gift budget is for every person on your list.

This is the maximum you intend to spend not the minimum.

Your budget will likely depend on whether they are close family, friends or distant relatives you meet at Christmas time only.

Total everything up and see how much you think you plan on spending on Xmas gifts alone.

Remember this doesn’t include food, days out, fuel for travelling over the holidays, cards and wrap.

cHRISTMAS BAUBLES - how to save for Christmas

THREE – Amend Your Budget

If your total comes as a bit of a shock (mine usually does) then now is the time to be honest with yourself and cut those figures down.

£20 might buy a nice present for Aunty Flo, but so will £10.

Repeat this across your gift list and you have some immediate savings.

Related reading:

Top Tips to Reduce The Cost of Christmas

15 tips to save $14,000 a year!

Find out how the Festive Money Binder can transform your Christmas budget:

mock up images of smart savers festive money binder

FOUR – Plan Your Savings

Now you know what your gift budget is, you need a plan on how you are going to save for Christmas.

How else are you going to be able to afford these gifts without going into debt?

If you are starting in January then the easiest way to save for Christmas is to divide your gift budget by 12 and save 1/12 that amount every month.

If its not January when you start saving for Christmas then for this 1st year you need to work out how many months are left before Christmas and divide your gift budget by those months. e.g.

  • In July you have 6 months to save your gift budget of £500.
    • £500/6 months = £84 you need to save each month
  • In January you would have 12 months to save £500 so the maths would be:
    • £500/12 months = £42 per month savings

Related post: The Perfectly Simple 12 Week Christmas Savings Plan


FIVE – Christmas Savings Account

Put your savings into a separate account which is purely for Christmas.

That way you won’t be tempted to touch it and the money won’t get spent on something else.

SIX- Loyalty Cards

Save reward points from your loyalty cards. These can add up to quite a few pounds and can be exchanged nearer Christmas for gifts.

SEVEN – Credit Cards

Save your credit card cashback.

I have a credit card that gives me 1% on some of my shopping and am saving all the cashback to spend in November and December.

I already have £65 which will help pay for a few gifts.

Check out how the Festive Money Binder can help you here:

mock up images of smart savers festive money binder

Keep It Up

Once you’ve started saving for Christmas make sure you continue it from January next year.

It becomes an easy habit and doesn’t cost very much when spread out over the whole year.

Since I started saving every month I have felt much better about Christmas.

I still don’t love it but I definitely don’t actively dislike it!

For more help in stretching your money this Christmas, these posts will help:

How to Buy Xmas Gifts – When You’re On a Tight Budget

9 Things I Refuse To Buy This Christmas

Save Money When You Always Buy These 9 Things After Christmas

pinterest image for how to save for Christmas
pinterest image for how to save for Christmas
Work out your Christmas budget and start saving money. Budgeting tips for Christmas and ways to save money. No need to go into debt to pay for Christmas when you can save every year. #christmassavings #saveforchristmas #christmas #savings #savemoney savingmoney #moneygoals
Work out your Christmas budget and start saving money. Budgeting tips for Christmas and ways to save money. No need to go into debt to pay for Christmas when you can save every year. #christmassavings #saveforchristmas #christmas #savings #savemoney savingmoney #moneygoals
Work out your Christmas budget and start saving money. Budgeting tips for Christmas and ways to save money. No need to go into debt to pay for Christmas when you can save every year. #christmassavings #saveforchristmas #christmas #savings #savemoney savingmoney #moneygoals

Last Updated on 3rd March 2021 by Emma

About Emma

I'm here to help you become confident in making the best money decisions for you and your family. Frugal living has changed my life, let me help you change yours.

12 thoughts on “Saving For Christmas – 7 Easy Tips to Get Started”

  1. It always staggers me how many gifts other people buy. I focus on my children and I give to nieces and nephews (mostly money now). The days of buying for every sibling, in-law and obscure aunt are long gone. I found that once I suggested to the extended family that we don’t buy for each other and just focus on the children, everyone jumped at the chance to stop. Money aside, the stress of thinking of things for everyone is huge.
    I agree with you about planning and saving a bit each month – and to remember it’s not just gifts but food, fuel, decorations, wrapping paper…
    The loyalty cards is a good point too – I once managed to get my children iPad minis completely out of clubcard points.

    • Well done on getting those iPad minis for ‘free’, that’s a perfect example of making those loyalty points work for you. When we were younger and skint, I counted 46 people that I was buying for each year! No wonder I was skint. And yes, trying to think of the right thing for each person within my very limited budget was such a stress, so glad we went down similar route as you and restricted presents to kids only.

  2. I do put money aside for Christmas but it’s never enough but better than not having any at all!

    I buy presents for immediate family and friends, so a total of around 14 people. The most expensive (cash) is for my parents and I don’t get anything from them in return – it’s been that way for many years. I get away with just buying small gifts (or vouchers) for my nieces and nephews as my siblings don’t want them to have any more ‘stuff’, unless it’s to replace other ‘stuff’. Christmas is always followed by an expensive Chinese New Year (end Jan/beginning of Feb) where another wodge of cash is given to my parents.

    • Mine never seems to be quite enough either! DD2 costs me the most but not for much longer as she will graduate to being a ‘present adult’ next year (once she’s graduated and in the real world!). That’s a bit of a double whammy celebrating and buying presents for both Christmas and Chinese New Year, similar to the US and Thanksgiving I guess.

      • Hi Tuppenny. Jane in the U.S. here. I loved your post! Thank you for the great advice. This will definitely make Christmas more manageable. About Thanksgiving and Christmas in the U.S. : We don’t give presents at Thanksgiving. The focus of that holiday is enjoying a traditional dinner with family and friends, and of course expressing thanks. It is a very popular holiday; in fact, more peeople travel over Thanksgiving to visit family and friends than at Christmastime. It’s a great holiday with rich historical roots – but not an occasion for gift-giving.

        • Hi Jane! Thank you for the information on the difference between Thanksgiving and Christmas – I knew Thanksgiving was the really big one when it came to food, but hadn’t realised presents weren’t included. Good job given they are only a month apart! Thanks so much for reading and stopping by!

  3. Hi I love Christmas and do budget , I also buy a lot of sale items through out the year . I have a little book I write everyone’s name and what I have brought them in case I lose it in the cupboard, it’s ticked when brought and hilighted when wrapped and under the tree. Nothing gets lost this way. Also if you’re buying for small nieces or nephews you can pick up reduced pyjamas through out the year just get a bigger size. I also keep things other people have brought that I don’t want put a post it on it from who it was from so you don’t give it back to them?

    • Hi Angela! I’m a fan of re-gifting too. I love your idea of having a book detailing when you buy and when you wrap. I once managed to lose an entire bin liner of presents bought in the January sales. Had to buy again in Nov/Dec. Needless to say I found them after Christmas, sigh. Good for the following year though 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  4. These are really useful tips to save money for Christmas. It is possible to save money by spending also. Some websites offer a discount on stuff before Christmas you can shop from such websites to save money. Otherwise you can participate in competitions before Christmas to win free stuff just before Christmas,

    • That’s a very useful tip thank you! If you like entering competitions it makes sense to focus on them in the run up to Christmas as there can be some cracking prizes. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Hi, I live in the UK and at the start of January we start a new savings card for our local supermarket. Each week we aim to buy at least 1 stamp at the cost off £1 . Each card holds 49 stamps (£49 worth) but if you use your completed card in December then they give you an extra £1 making that £50 to spend in store. So if you collect 2 stamps a week that’ll make £100 to use which covers the extras in food, drink plus some towards presents.

    • Hi Claire – a fellow Brit! Supermarket saving stamps can be really helpful to spread the cost over many weeks can’t they? My local Asda have a similar one where if I save £144 they’ll add £6 to it. I just wish Lidl did similar. It sounds like you have your Christmas spending well sorted! Thanks for stopping by!


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