Christmas – the most wonderful time of the year…but also the most expensive if you let yourself get carried away! This year, do yourself a favour and follow some of our top money saving tips so that you can start the New Year with a spring in your step, rather than a hole in your wallet.

Set yourself a budget

Before you start thinking about the presents you’re going to buy and the food you’re planning to eat – look at your finances and work out exactly how much money you’ve actually got to spend. Remember that Christmas is just one day and no matter how good the feeling of giving is – it’s not worth the January fear that accompanies overspending.

Make your own wrapping paper

This one could save you money, and help the environment! Many online retailers use brown paper to pad parcels. Collect brown paper on the run-up to Christmas, give it a quick iron (on a low heat) and paint, draw or print Christmas shapes onto the paper to make your own unique Christmas wrap. As long as you use non-metallic paint, then your wrap can be recycled (unlike many shiny shop-bought paper).

Suggest a secret Santa

If you’ve got a large family or group of friends that all usually buy for each other, why not suggest a secret Santa. Instead of spending £10, £20 or £30 on each person – only to receive a similar gift back from them – each agrees to only buy for one person. Not only will this save you money, but it also cuts down on the stress of trying to find gifts for lots of people, and reduces the amount of post-Christmas clutter you have to find a home for.

Don’t pay the first price you see

Price comparison sites like Idealo and Mysupermarket are simple to use and can help you source the best deal on everything from the latest gadgets to the Christmas turkey! Whether you’re shopping on the high street or online, a quick price comparison check before you head to the check-out will ensure that you really are getting the best deal.

Give a unique voucher

There’s nothing more disheartening than seeing gifts that you paid full price for, reduced by half in the January sales. Stop this happening by giving a ‘Shop the Sales’ voucher as a present instead. Agree to take whoever the gift is for out for a day’s shopping (set a budget in advance in case they get carried away!), and not only will you save money, but you also get to spend the day with a loved one. Win-win!

Ramp up your e-cards

Email Christmas cards don’t need to be boring black text on a white background. Websites like Mailchimp, let you create beautiful, personalised emails with colour, photos and gifs that won’t cost you a penny! Upload family photos, share your news and add Christmas images into one of their templates and impress your friends with your creative skills!

Glasgow Credit Union make it easy to save regularly, either by Direct Debit or payroll deduction.  If you have any questions or would like help with any of our services, please contact us on 0141 274 9933.