- Loyalty cards, vouchers, discount codes and good old fashioned planning and budgeting top the list of smart shoppers' Christmas money saving tips;
- £753 per household - estimated average cost of celebrating Christmas this year;
- 8% of people no-longer enjoy Christmas because of the financial pressures it brings.
Christmas may be 'the most wonderful time of the year' - but for many of us it's also the most expensive. SoGocompare.com Moneyasked shoppers to share their top Christmas money savings tips.
Cutting the cost of Christmas shopping by using loyalty card points, vouchers, and discount codes topped the list of the nation's favourite money saving tactics. Other popular ways to celebrate Christmas without breaking the bank include planning ahead to avoid panic purchases, taking advantage of pre-Christmas sales and reducing the number of people on Christmas card and present lists.
The survey* of over 2,000 adults, also revealed that the average family expects to spend £753 on Christmas, with most of the money being spent on presents and festive food and drink. Some survey participants (8%) said that they feel under pressure to buy expensive gifts for family and friends, while 12% admitted to always overspending. The financial pressure to splash out on celebrating Christmas left 8% no-longer enjoying the holiday season.
Christmas money saving tip
Use loyalty card points to pay for Christmas shopping
Set a budget and keep to it
Use vouchers and discount codes to pay for Christmas shopping
Buy presents in the sales
Plan gift ideas in advance rather than browsing or leaving your Christmas shopping until the last minute
Agree a price limit for gift with family and/or friends
Avoid expensive Christmas ‘experiences’
Reduce the number of people you buy presents for
Use money-off apps
Reduce the number of people on your Christmas card list
Downshift your food shopping to a cheaper supermarket
Opt for chicken or other meat instead of the traditional Christmas turkey dinner
To save money on booze, drink at home before heading out to a Christmas party
Club together to buy joint presents
Handcraft rather than buying gifts and/cards
Use a 0% credit card to spread the cost of Christmas shopping
Send e-cards and emails instead of buying and posting Christmas cards
Plan traditional family days out instead of expensive treats
Invite yourself out to Christmas dinner at a relatives’ or friends’ house
Arrange a family Secret Santa so you only have to buy one gift
Commenting on the research, Matt Sanders fromGocompare.com Money, said: "This time of the year we're bombarded with retailers' adverts showing this year's 'must-have' gifts, along with lavish festive food and drink. As such people clearly feel under pressure splash out on gifts to please loved-ones and friends, meaning that it's all too easy to be irrational about our Christmas spending, forking-out far more than we can sensibly afford.
"Undoubtedly, Christmas has become an expensive event, but as the tips shared in our survey show, there are some simple steps you can take to trim back your Christmas spending to help make sure you don't start the New Year with a financial hangover."
Matt Sanders continued: "For instance, cashing-in unused loyalty points and using money-off coupons and apps are effective ways of reducing the cost of a range of goods and services and can help your Christmas budget stretch that bit further.
"While we may let out a collective sigh when the Christmas gifts, cards and wrapping paper start appearing in shops at the end of September, planning ahead can pay dividends. Thinking about your Christmas spending ahead of time allows you to set a realistic budget, write a Christmas list and spread the cost of your purchases. Shopping to a list will also help you keep track of your spending. And it can help you avoid duplicating or making desperate last-minute purchases which cost far more than you intended to spend.
"Used carefully, credit cards can also be an effective way of spreading the cost of your Christmas shopping. Budget wisely and only put on your card what you can afford to repay. Look for cards with generous interest-free periods on new purchases - which will give you time to pay-off your Christmas spending without adding interest to the outstanding debt.
"To help ensure that you repay the balance of your card before the introductory term ends, try setting up a repayment plan and remember to check your cards terms and conditions."
See Gocompare.com's dedicated guide page for more information on interest-free credit cards.
Notes to editors:
*On 4 November 2016, Bilendi conducted an online survey among 2,006 randomly selected British adults who are Maximiles UK panelists. The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.