The festive period is, without doubt, the most demanding time of year on our poor wallets, purses and sorry-looking bank accounts. It's no secret. The cost of gifts and the copious amounts of food and alcohol we buy and consume, the days and nights out in between December 25th and the 31st, spent in clubs, pubs and shopping malls, and, not to forget, the ever-rising cost of day to day living - It all adds up. And if you haven't planned your finances well in advance or set aside some sort of contingency to see you through until the end of December, you could find yourself stuck at home. Surviving on the bits no one wanted from the Christmas Day jacobs joint, whilst your closest acquaintances live it up, partying their way unashamedly into 2022.
To prevent this haunting vision from ever becoming a reality, we thought we'd share a few friendly money-saving tips and suggestions to help make sure your New Years budget allows you to be the most extravagant you've ever been. We're talking party hats, excessive cocktails, an enticing post-countdown kebab - the lot. #VivaLaResoultion.
So, without further ado, here they are. Why not take a scan and draw up your own saving scheme ready for the coming festivities.
1. Don't go overboard buying Christmas gifts
It's all too easy to get carried away at this time of year, splurging big sums of cash on presents for your nearest and dearest. If your bank statement allows it, why not! It is Christmas after all. But, if like the vast majority of us, you're a little light in the way of legal tender this year you might want to think about reigning it in and maybe tightening those purse strings. That doesn't mean to say you can't still spoil your family and friends though.
There are various avenues you can take here, to reduce your overall Christmas spending. All of which require a certain degree of savviness. Have you considered scouring secondhand sites such as eBay or Depop for a discounted gift? Perhaps you could order the entirety of your gift list from a Christmas catalogue or apply for a 0% interest store card to help you spread the cost? All of these options could leave you with more cash to line your pockets on the ultimate day and night of the year.
A word to the wise. Don't live outside of your means. In other words, don't spend more than you can afford to pay back, especially when it comes to using store cards and buy now pay later options via catalogues etc. Make sure you're able to cover the monthly payments or you could be left facing some extortionate interest charges.
You could also suggest a Secret Santa between your family and friends this year, and set a reasonably low budget. A choice that will prove popular amongst all those included for sure.
2. Sell your old gadgets, clothes and unwanted goods
Whilst sifting through the treasure trove archives of pre-loved goods on eBay, Depop, Vinted and Gumtree (other secondhand selling sites are available), why not consider setting up your own profile and getting rid of some of those old clothes, trainers or collectables you've been hoarding. There's no easier way to make a bit of fast cash than selling your unwanted goods.
Likewise with your old gadgets, electronics and mobile phones. An old phone lying about collecting dust could be worth hundreds of pounds, even if it's damaged or broken. Jump on comparison sites, such as compareandrecycle.co.uk or sellmymobile.com and get the money sent straight to your bank or Paypal account usually within seven working days.
3. Begin saving a set amount of money every day
Sounds like common sense, right? Well, that's exactly what it is. The amount of which you could save and eventually have to hand come party time on New Year's Eve will leave you pleasantly surprised. If, for example, you find yourself in a position where you can afford to put five pounds a day into a New Years kitty (less than the average price of a pint in London), by the time you reached December 31st you'd have almost £100. The more you put away each day, the bigger the kitty gets, Simple.
If you're feeling super organised come January 1st 2022, begin this method of saving early and reap the rewards. Five pounds multiplied by 365 days equates to an eye-watering grand total of £1,825. Imagine the scenes with those sorts of funds...
4. Make yourself a Christmas food shopping list (and check it twice)
Alike gift shopping, it's very easy to get lost in the isles of supermarkets and even more so when the shelves are filled from top to bottom with festive treats. We've all been in that awkward position, watching the cashier put through your third Terry's Chocolate Orange - 'Don't judge me, Karen'.
The easiest way to get around walking out of a store with a trolley brimming full of unnecessary glutinous pleasures is to make a list. It's an old school, tried and tested method that will (as long as you stick to it) help you save some pounds and pennies. It'll curb your impulsive nature to grab those Christmas nibbles and help to ensure you remember those life essentials i.e. bread, milk, toilet roll etc.
There's even a bunch of apps out there - both free and paid - created exclusively to help you build your shopping lists. Head to the App Store or the Google Play Store and try searching for 'AnyList', 'Bring!' or 'Listronic'.
You could even go one step better, and order your food shopping to be delivered online. Many supermarkets also offer discounts to those using their delivery service for the first time. Sainsbury's, for example, is currently offering a voucher worth £12 off your first online shop when you spend over £60. More bang buck for your buck and money left over. Win-win.
5. Start pre-drinking now!
Ok, maybe not straight away, however tempting that idea might sound (#pleasedrinkresponsibly).
If you've got some nighttime excursions planned in the lead up to Christmas and the New Year, maybe you're going to a gig or rave at your local music venue or club, get the pre-drinks in beforehand at yours or a friends place of residence and save a small fortune. Five pints of lager comes in at anywhere between £15 and £25 depending on where you are in the UK, and let's not get started on wine and cocktails. You'll need a loan. Instead, grab a crate of beer or some premixed cocktails for a fraction of the price at your local supermarket. Job done.
There you have it. Our top tips to top up those New Year funds. Follow them to the letter and resist the temptation to spend and you could be sitting on a mint come Friday 31st December. No thanks are necessary.
Have we got you in the festive mood? Why not check out our Christmas 2021 and New Year's Eve 2021/22 Inspire Me page's and secure your place at a mind-blowing end of year event at the end of the month!
For everything else, take a look at our What's On Guide or our Thing's To Do page.