Over the past few weeks we have been taking part in the Shepherds Friendly Christmas savings challenge and I am honestly amazed at the amount of money we have managed to save! I wrote a post at the end of November all about the challenge and the goals we had set ourselves, you can head over and read that post here.
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.
We decided to set ourselves three challenges that we thought would save us the most money in the run up to Christmas. These were…
1. Saving loose change in a jar
2. Making the most of free days out and activities
3. Taking advantage of Black Friday/Cyber Week deals and other voucher codes
Week one started at the end of November, right when the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals began. I decided to take advantage of these and tackle the majority of our Christmas shopping in one go. It’s easy to get sucked into these offers and buy things that you didn’t really need, so I made a list of everything I needed and stuck to it. I am over the moon with the amount I manage to save during the first week…
On week two I really wanted to focus on making the most of free days out and activities. The kids had been asking to go to the cinema and as lovely as that is, it can get very expensive. So instead we watched The Greatest Showman at home and made it special with lots of snacks and drinks. The kids loved it, and it just shows that you can have fun without spending lots of money. We did still spend a little on the snacks but nowhere near what we would have spent at the cinema.
Each week, our loose change savings have been pretty consistent at around £5. And while this may not seem like a huge amount, it all adds up! Especially as its money that would otherwise have just been left lying around the house. This is definitely something we are going to continue with after Christmas.
This week one of the things we did to save money was make our own pizzas, instead of going out to eat. Eating out is a real treat, but something we’d started doing too often and it was becoming very expensive. So we bought some ingredients and had fun making our own pizzas. This alone saved us around £30.
We also took advantage of our National Trust membership this week and headed out for a free day out, rather than another costly trip to soft play.
We are super pleased with how much money we’ve managed to save, I really didn’t think it was possible especially at this time of year. It’s proved to us that if we make small changes to our lifestyle and be a little more conscious of the money we are spending, we can save money. Our goal over the next year is to save enough money to finally get a mortgage, and this challenge has shown us that we can and will achieve that goal.
Did you take part in the Christmas savings challenge?
Thank you for reading.
*This is a collaborative post*