Worried about soaring costs of Christmas? You can have a happy one for free!
According to prosperity platform Hargreaves Lansdown, Brits are expected to spend an average of £569 on Christmas gifts and festivities this year, with one in 20 expected to spend £1,500.
Couples will spend around £1,138, while households with children will spend an extra £320.
But with 50 days to go until the big day, there are still plenty of handy ways to make extra money to cover costs – as long as you get your skates on.
Here are our tips for saving £569 to pay for Christmas this year.
1) Switch your current account… £205
Several major banks are offering generous financial incentives to new checking account customers. HSBC is giving up to £205 to new customers who open an Advance account and register for a Global Money account.
Cover the costs: Brits are expected to spend an average of £569 on Christmas gifts and festivities this year
Nationwide is offering £200 to new customers who change their current account using the Current Account Switch Service (Cass), while First Direct and Lloyds are both offering £175.
While the financial incentives are nice to have, make sure you choose an account with the features that suit you best and with a good level of customer service should you need help in the future.
Also pay attention to any restrictive conditions. For example, to receive the full €205 from HSBC, you must open an Advance account and pay a minimum of €1,500 within 60 days, make at least five payments with the card, log into the mobile banking app and open an account . HSBC Global Money account. You must also make five payments using your Global Money debit card before April 21 next year.
2) Sell unwanted gifts… £50
Do you still have unwanted Christmas presents from previous years? According to the website eBay, you could make at least £50 on average by selling them.
For example, the resale site says that selling three teddies and a men’s jumper can make you up to £50.
About a third of households have already sold items they don’t want to make extra money on this year, with clothes, shoes, toys and homewares among the most popular.
You can earn up to £1,000 tax-free each tax year by selling items online. However, if your profit is higher, you may have to pay taxes. You can check if you need to pay at gov.uk/check-additional-income-tax.
3) Earn cash while shopping…€125
Cash back credit cards can be a great way to make some extra money while shopping.
For example, American Express customers can get 5 percent cashback on purchases (up to £125) for the first three months when they sign up for a Platinum Cashback Credit Card. The card has an annual fee of £25. You can earn up to £100 cashback with the Platinum Cashback Everyday Credit Card, which is free to open.
Other options include £20 in Asda Pounds when you sign up for the Money Credit Card before December 5, spend £50 and set up a direct debit within the first 60 days. You’ll then get 1 per cent cashback on all your Asda purchases and 0.3 per cent when you spend at other stores.
Don’t forget to pay off your credit card in full each month to avoid high fees. And you only save money if you use it to do errands that you were already planning to do anyway.
4) Join a supermarket savings scheme… £15
Several supermarkets are offering cashback for those who sign up for their Christmas savings scheme.
Shoppers in Iceland have until tomorrow to get £15 cashback when they load £100 onto the supermarket bonus card. The cards offer you exclusive prices and offers when shopping online or in store, plus free home delivery. For every £20 you put on the card, you’ll also receive a £1 bonus. Visit iceland.co.uk/bonus-card to register or pick up a card at your local store.
Asda customers can earn up to £15 when they open the Christmas Savings Card at 5pm on November 12. You need to load £280 onto the card to receive the £15 bonus, which is paid out at 9am the next day.
To register, visit asdagiftcards.com/christmas-savings or visit an Asda supermarket.
5) Switch broadband provider… £174
If you haven’t been looking for a new broadband deal for a while, chances are you’re paying too much.
Ernest Doku, of price comparison website Uswitch, says households can save up to £174 a year by switching broadband providers. “Several providers offer new customers additional incentives, such as invoice credits or vouchers,” he adds.
For example, BT is offering new customers a £50 BT rewards card when they sign up for their online exclusive Fiber 1 or 2 broadband and phone packages.
Once your broadband is set up, you have three days to claim your gift card. This will be delivered to you within 45 days. However, don’t be tempted by one-off incentives; make sure you choose a broadband plan that gives you the best value over the full term of your contract.
You should also keep an eye out for new providers coming to your area, Doku suggests. “Check websites like Uswitch and Trustpilot to see if it’s worth taking up an introductory offer,” he says. “Or use the information about speeds and prices as ammunition to tell your existing provider that you’re happy to leave, as they may be willing to negotiate to keep your business.”