Saving for Christmas - how do you do it?

(45 Posts)
Notgoodtogo Tue 04-Oct-16 22:14:27

I've seen lots of people referring to Parks vouchers and other means of savings for Christmas. I'm really keen to find out more-is it safe, where can the vouchers be spent etc? And are there other ways that work for you? I'd really like to find a way of budgeting for next year. Thanks

Justmuddlingalong Tue 04-Oct-16 22:19:44

I put a set amount away every week. Straight after Christmas I start for the next year. All birthday and Christmas gifts come out of this fund. Saving money instead of vouchers means you can buy stuff throughout the year wherever and whenever, without being restricted to certain shops.

Piratepete1 Tue 04-Oct-16 22:20:11

I just save £100 a month every year in a separate saving account - gives me £1200 which is plenty.

anyoldname76 Tue 04-Oct-16 22:22:34

i save with park as i havent got the willpower not to dip into savings, i think its all saved into some sort of government account after that other savings company went bump

Muddlingalongalone Tue 04-Oct-16 22:25:04

Monthly savings plus I pay a lump sum back in when I don't pay council tax in Feb & mar

elQuintoConyo Tue 04-Oct-16 22:26:15

€2 coin piggybank.

recklessgran Tue 04-Oct-16 22:31:48

I buy gift cards and keep them in my Christmas planner until about this time when I start using them for my Christmas gift shopping. I get a selection of Amazon,M&S. TKMaxx, Boots etc. I always order the Amazon ones on payday and pick the others up throughout the year when I'm out shopping. Most supermarkets stock a wide selection. I aim to get about £100 worth a month as a guide. Works for me anyway, and I'm less likely to dip into them which I know I would at some point if I was saving in cash. Any that are left over I use for gifts throughout the following year or just give the gift card.Really works well for me anyway.

Shinyshoes2 Tue 04-Oct-16 22:34:01

This is the first year I haven't done park we saved cash this year and about 3 weeks ago we needed to find 2k for solicitors fees so BANG went christmas
Wished I'd saved it with park now.
Park are great and your money is safe ... If the company does go bust them the governmet refund your losses because it's all held in some government scheme because of that other company that went bust a few years back and everyone lost their money

OpheIiaBaIIs Wed 05-Oct-16 19:00:30

I have a separate account which I put whatever I can into - it's our 'fun fund' and covers Christmas, birthdays, Easter etc. I also have a change box - at the end of each day, any silver change I have in my purse goes into it. I start it with the change from the Christmas big shop every year. Last year there was £303 in it come Christmas week! I have a £1 a day jar, too - I try to put a £1 coin in every day, usually I manage about £300 in it by Christmas. And I try to sell junk treasures on eBay every couple of months, the proceeds of which goes into the fun fund. Finally, our LL doesn't charge rent for the last two weeks of December, so that goes in the fund too.

Altogether we spend about £1,000 on Christmas give or take. Anything left in the fund (usually a fair bit) rolls over to next year.

One thing that's even more useful than all the saving though is buying through the year as and when stuff is on offer. I buy lots in the January sales, for example. That way come Christmas there's less that needs to be spent and I've saved loads on the stuff I've already bought!

Libby34 Wed 05-Oct-16 19:07:37

This year started off by me having a browse in charity shops (like I do all the time), and noticing books/toys in great nick with DC favourite characters on. I also keep an eye out in Tesco/asda when shopping and just snatch any bargains. For specific presents I want to buy, I shop around online, add it to my basket (usually Amazon it's got to be said) and wait until I can afford it. I also pop into TK Maxx occasionally and nab any bargains in there. I saw a scooter (The Clangers) in there for £8, my niece loves the clangers so I bought it - got home and googled it and it was £22 on Amazon! I also have the Argos app on my phone and there's a clearance section on there which has a great selection of toys etc. This might not be helpful as I don't save for Christmas as such, I just start early and shop around looking for the best price/cheaper alternatives. Although it has to be said that this is easy when they're little and they just want a wide selection of toys! Not quite so sure what I'll do when they're older and want phones/tablets etc.

helenatroy Wed 05-Oct-16 19:09:32

I don't do anything re putting anything away. We don't go crazy and have a limit. From about September onwards if I see anything amazing I buy and wrap and hide. I start picking up treats and special things for the Christmas cupboard as I see them. When GH recommended list comes out I select and buy from that before the things sell out. I have never ever ever shopped on a Christmas Eve unless it was to pick previously ordered things up. That day is sacred to me and I always do something like lunch in central London or a special restaurant local to me. I prep my veggies at my dining room table that night either just me or whoever is joining us. I light a fire in there and drink a kir royale and eat some Christmas cake or stollen. This year I'll have a new baby so that's going to be nice.

princessconsuelabannahammock Wed 05-Oct-16 20:49:37

I saved with park for the first time and it's fab I will be doing it again next year.

My only complaint is I selected the gift cards and love to shop card and I thought I had lots of time to make my final choice but my order had been processed so I am stuck with it. The vouchers are accepted more widely than the cards. We didn't save for all our Xmas expenses just a big chunk.

I wouldn't have been able to save otherwise and its lovely to not have to worry about finding the money like I did last year.

Starryeyed16 Wed 05-Oct-16 20:53:06

DH gets bonus just before Christmas so will be using that, makes it less stressful that previous years.

Notso Wed 05-Oct-16 21:04:52

In previous years we have saved £1000 out of DH's bonus. However this year I have done the penny a day saving thing so should have around £600. I also buy saving stamps by rounding up my shopping so usually have about £50-£70 saved at morrisons as well as the £5's given out through their loyalty card.

Dionysuss Thu 06-Oct-16 11:19:56

Previous years I had a standing order set up on payday, so each month a bit goes to a savings account we try not to touch. Then traditionally my sister and I would have a mammouth shopping day late November.

This year I started buying really early, working through a list and checking off as I go. It's now all bought, and hidden in the spare room. I'm planning on waiting until December, when the tree is up, and having a wrapping day whilst playing Christmas songs and nibbling stollen bites.

Next year I'm going to do the same. As its been a constant, low level spending it hasn't damaged my bank account like previous years. And shopping in December can be like hell.

Lorelei76 Thu 06-Oct-16 11:43:47

shiny "This is the first year I haven't done park we saved cash this year and about 3 weeks ago we needed to find 2k for solicitors fees so BANG went christmas "

sorry to hear you had a big bill from solicitor - but wondering how you would have paid it if you had put it for Xmas? Isn't it good that you had the cash ready?

Sheusedtobesomeonelse Thu 06-Oct-16 13:17:27

I use my savings fund that i allow myself to dip into for bdays and christmas (only).
I also strart early getting bits and pieces as and when i see them through the year. Stockings especially as they really add up I find.

I also get 160€ in vouchers through work end of november which i use to get some late presents or if someone has changed their mind.

I'm going to start on the food shopping next time too - each time i do abig shop i add a couple of bottles / nicer versions of what we have through out the year/ box of biscuits / nibbles, I have a special corner in my big cupboard for this only!

Since my divorce paying for christmas is seriosly stressfull (& DD birthday end of november too..)
Everyone now gets only one main present and the others are some clothes to wear/books/dvds but just one present, i like to choose carefully smile

Spreading out the cost is really the only way as no extra bonus for me!

EmGee Thu 06-Oct-16 21:24:17

I don't save as such but I do buy throughout the year, and follow the bargain thread for special deals (e.g. Book People/Boden codes) and set Camel camel camel alerts especially for more expensive purchases like Lego/Playmobil etc.

I try and sell some 'unused' toys/clothes throughout the year and the proceeds all go into the 'kitty'.

We also get 80€ vouchers per child from DH's work for Christmas but I have generally finished the shopping by the time they come through so I use them to buy clothes throughout the year instead.

justgivemeamo Thu 06-Oct-16 22:01:48

Two years ago I started to put - £10 away a month and £2 a week. doesnt sound much but that was a base of £216 or thereabouts.
Then added to that was any extra money - so - some birthday money, if I sell stuff on ebay - a couple of pounds will go into xmas tin etc.

We had enough the first year to certainly break up the pain of the cost! Enough to pay out right for a cheap panto, trip to see santa....and some gifts. It was a huge help.

The following year I started saving directly in Jan again, but DH was able to also add £20 a month, and he also started to add odds and ends.

This year - our third year we are on course for £600 but have spent some saved xmas money on visit to santa, disney on ice and some gifts.

It really has helped, I couldnt do any vouchers because I need money for days out - presents as they come up on offer etc. I just save in a tin in the house! Its habit now.

We do it for birthday - holidays, every thing is now broken down and seperated. Its working really well so far.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Thu 06-Oct-16 23:46:16

Nectar Points for Christmas Food Shop ( not sure how much I have at the moment but I'm waiting for the Points Booster they do)

£2 jar - usually get £200-£280 depending on how many £2 come our way .

Odd coins (1p/2p/5p/10p) in a big pot then in June/Dec they go to the MetroBank coin changer (they don't charge) for DS/DD

DH is saving the NatWest Rewards (I want a new tree, prelit, nice one)

Other than that we start looking for presents in October onwards so there's no mad rush fwink

SpringerS Fri 07-Oct-16 00:13:28

I just buy throughout the year when I see great bargains, especially secondhand stuff. Tbh, when it comes to presents, I pass myself out and I already have a lot of stuff for Easter, birthdays and Christmas 2017.

HollyBollyBooBoo Fri 07-Oct-16 03:37:07

I read somewhere to put by your five pound notes each time you get one. The theory being you don't get one that often, when you do you won't miss a fiver but it adds up over the year.

I've done it for the past couple of years and get to about £400. That easily covers Christmas for us.

SymphonyofShadows Fri 07-Oct-16 10:16:16

i just start really early and also buy things when I see them throughout the year. I start shopping in earnest once the summer holidays are out of the way.

I sometimes get M&S giftcards to pay for food.

Fairylea Fri 07-Oct-16 10:21:39

We save with park as I have no willpower not to use savings and I love it. We order the love to shop gift cards and it takes the worry out of affording Christmas. Absolutely great service and company, and as others have said very safe as rules have been tightened since that other company went bust a few years back.

SymphonyofShadows Fri 07-Oct-16 10:34:21

That's interesting about the rules as that is why I haven't used Park, I might for next year though.

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