Eating beans on toast for the month of January is a familiar feeling to all of us here in the lab. This year, it’s going to be different by being clever with our money. We’ve asked some of the smartest humans we have what they do save money but still have fun over the festive season:
1. Have a budget (and stick to it)
Decide how much you want to spend overall at Christmas. If you have spent way too much other years, how much less would you like to spend this year? Reduce it by a hundred euros or do changes in circumstances mean you have to reduce you budget even more? Work out what is best for you and your family.
2. Write a list…
Like the man in red, we are sure you have a list of people you buy presents for but for most of us, it stays in our head. Write each name down as a starting point.
3. Then cut it…
This sounds drastic but it doesn’t have to be! Are there people on your list you buy gifts for habitually but you don’t have the same relationship you once did? Are there others where time is a more precious gift than a bath set, could you agree to meet for a coffee instead? Or if a group of you meet each year for Christmas do Kris Kindle so you only have to buy one present?
4. Bag a bargain online
Doing some research online is a great way to come up with ideas on what to buy but it may also be worth your while buying online too. There are apps like PriceSpy that can help you easily see where a product is available for the cheapest price. Everyone in the lab agrees, prioritise the children in your life, some grownups may not need more ‘stuff’!
5. Make something
Can you knit, stich, cook or bake? Are you handy round the house? Good at fixing things, putting up shelves or wallpapering. Why not make something or provide your services for a day? It’s a great way to help a friend or loved one out and save some dosh.
6. Switch supermarket
One of the priciest things after the presents at Christmas is the grocery shop. But everyone here agrees you can still have the same delicious food at a fraction of the cost by shopping at a low cost supermarket or sometimes even shopping in your local butcher or baker. The savings can be an entire night out over Christmas so definitely not one to miss!
7. Plan ahead
Starting early to plan for Christmas was another great piece of advice. Go back to number 1 and look at how much you would like to have for Christmas. Divide this number by 11 and save that much every month towards it. If it proves too much then you may have to scale back the celebrations.
8. Change suppliers
One of the cleverest things humans in our labs do to save money is switch electricity and gas supplier to Energia. All our tests show the same results!