Christmas is right around the corner, just four weeks away to be exact! We all know how expensive this time of year can be. I know that if I want my family to have the perfect Christmas, I need to start making some savings. Shepherds Friendly Society got in touch with me to see if I would like to take part in their Christmas Savings Challenge and I of course said yes, I need all the help I can get!
Who are Shepherds Friendly?
Shepherds Friendly is a UK friendly society and one of the oldest and fastest growing mutual insurers in the world. They provide a range of childrens and adults savings plans, as well as insurance products.
“As we’re a mutual society, we have a strict set of values that we believe help us to provide our members with the best products and services we can offer.”
What is the Christmas Savings Challenge?
The Christmas Savings Challenge aims to help you cut down on your day to day spending and save for Christmas. Your savings can be used for the Christmas festivities or put into a savings account like Shepherds Friendly stocks and shares ISA. The challenge runs for four weeks and consists of three different challenges for each of the four weeks.
Some examples of ways to save could be…
- Making the most of Black Friday/Cyber Week deals
- Searching for Voucher codes for Christmas shopping.
- Curbing your daily coffee and save the change for a mulled wine at Christmas.
- Cancel any unused subscriptions.
- Stash the cash – Putting loose change in jar.
- Creating your own decorations for the tree and your house.
- Being resourceful with food and drink for the Christmas feast.
Shepherds Friendly have created a handy chart that you can download from their website here. You can fill this in and use it to track how much you are saving each week. It’s a great way of keeping you motivated and on track with your savings goals.
I’ve come to realise that there are quite a few areas where I could make cut backs and save some money, but I’ve chosen the three that I feel I can make the biggest savings in…
1. Saving loose change
I am guilty of leaving change lying around all over the place – the car, various bags, down the side of the sofa, on top of the microwave. You name it, there’s probably some random change lying around there! I guess my problem is that I don’t have a place to store my loose change, so that has now changed and I’m using an old jar to collect coins.
It’s suprising just how easily loose change can add up, after doing a quick scout around the house I managed to find a total of £3.36! I definitely think that we can save at least a couple of pounds each week doing this.
2. Making the most of free days out and activities
Days out at this time of year can be so expensive and you can find yourself doing some sort of festive activity almost every weekend. But it doesn’t need to be that way, Christmas can still be special without lots of expensive trips out.
Now, I’m not saying that I’m not going to take the kids to see Santa at all, I definitely will. But I’m going to limit it to just one big day out. We’ll also make savings by having a movie afternoon at home, rather than going to the cinema. Going for a walk at our local park instead of paying to take the kids to soft play. Staying home and doing Christmas crafts, rather than spending money on an expensive day out.
3. Taking advantage of Black Friday deals and voucher codes
For my final challenge I am taking advantage of Cyber Week offers for my Christmas shopping and also searching out the best deals and voucher codes for any purchases I make from now until Christmas.
Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals can sometimes suck us in and we end up buying more than we otherwise would have, but I think the best way to do it is to make a list of everything that you were already planning to buy and stick to it. No matter how tempting the offers might be, only stick to what you need to buy. This way I know I will be able to make some good savings.
I will be updating you all again in four weeks time to let you know how we’ve got on with our challenges. Will you be joining in with the Christmas Savings Challenge? I’d love to know what challenges you have set for yourself.
Thank you for reading.
*Disclaimer – This is a collaborative post*