Britons are expected to spend an average of £569 on Christmas gifts and festivities this year, according to wealth platform Hargreaves Lansdown, with one in 20 expected to shell out £1,500.
Couples will spend approximately £1,138, while households with children will spend an additional £320.
But with 50 days left until the big day, there are still plenty of clever ways to make extra money to cover the cost — if you lace up your skates.
Here are our tips for saving £569 to pay for Christmas this year.
1) Change your current account…£205
Several major banks are offering generous cash incentives to new checking account customers. HSBC is donating up to £205 to new customers who open their Advance account and sign up for a Global Money account.
Cover the cost: Brits are expected to spend an average of £569 on Christmas gifts and festivities this year.
Nationwide is offering £200 to new customers who switch their current account using the Current Account Switching Service (Cass), while First Direct and Lloyds are offering £175.
While it’s nice to have cash incentives, be sure to choose an account with the features that work best for you and with a good level of customer service in case you need help in the future.
Also beware of restrictive terms and conditions. For example, to receive the full £205 from HSBC, you will need to open an Advance account and pay at least £1,500 within 60 days, make at least five card payments, log in to the mobile banking app and open One account. HSBC Global Money account. You will also need to make five payments on your Global Money debit card by April 21 next year.
2) Sell unwanted gifts… £50
Do you have any unwanted Christmas gifts from previous years lying around? You could make at least £50 on average selling them, according to the eBay website.
For example, the resale site says selling three stuffed animals and a men’s jumper could make up to £50.
Around a third of households have already sold unwanted items to make extra money this year, with clothes, shoes, toys and household items being the most popular.
You can earn up to £1,000 tax-free each tax year by selling items online. However, if your earnings exceed this, you may have to pay taxes. You can check if you would need to pay at gov.uk/check-additional-income-tax.
3) Earn money when you buy…£125
Cash back credit cards can be a good way to earn some extra money when you shop.
For example, American Express customers can earn 5 per cent cash back on purchases for the first three months (up to £125) when they sign up for a Platinum Cashback credit card. The card has an annual fee of £25. You can earn up to £100 in cashback with your Platinum Cashback Everyday credit card, which is free to open.
Other options include £20 at Asda Pounds when you sign up to your Money credit card before December 5, spend £50 and set up a direct debit within the first 60 days. After that, you’ll get 1 per cent cash back on all your purchases at Asda and 0.3 per cent when you spend money at other stores.
Remember to pay off your credit card in full each month to avoid being charged high fees. And you’ll only save when you use them to make purchases you were planning to make anyway.
4) Join a supermarket savings scheme…£15
Several supermarkets offer cashback to those who sign up for their Christmas savings plan.
Icelandic shoppers have until tomorrow to get £15 cashback when they load £100 onto the supermarket’s bonus card. The cards offer you exclusive prices and offers when you buy online or in store, plus free home delivery. For every £20 you deposit onto 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 win up to £15 if they open their Christmas Savings Card before 5pm on November 12. You must load £280 onto the card to receive the £15 bonus, which will be paid by 9am the next day.
To register, go to asdagiftcards.com/christmas-Savings or visit an Asda supermarket.
5) Change broadband provider…£174
If you haven’t looked for a new broadband deal in a while, there’s a good chance you’re overpaying.
Ernest Doku, of price comparison website Uswitch, says households can save up to £174 a year by switching broadband providers. “Several providers offer additional incentives to new customers, such as bill credits or vouchers,” he adds.
For example, BT is offering new customers a £50 BT Reward Card when they sign up to its exclusive Fiber 1 or 2 online broadband and phone packages.
Once your broadband is set up, you have three days to claim your gift card, which will arrive within 45 days. However, don’t get carried away by one-off incentives – make sure you opt for a broadband deal that gives you the best value over the entire term of your contract.
You should also keep an eye out for new vendors moving into your area, Doku suggests. “Check websites like Uswitch and Trustpilot to see if it’s worth accepting an introductory offer,” she says. “Or use information about speeds and prices as ammunition to tell your current supplier that you would like to leave, since they may be willing to negotiate to keep your business.”
…And you could also save extra money
The five tips above could add up to £569. But if you want to keep winning, here are three more.
Claim credit from your energy supplier…£236
If you pay your energy bills by direct debit, there is a good chance you have built up credit with your supplier. It may be worth leaving a portion of that with your supplier to cover the more expensive winter months.
But, if you’ve built up a lot of credit, you can ask your provider to reimburse you. Providers owe households an average of £236, according to Uswitch. Contact your supplier directly to ask for your money back.
Change phone contract…£335
If the initial term of your phone contract has ended, you can probably get a better deal by switching providers.
The biggest savings can be found if you’re willing to keep your current phone. In that case, if you switch to a SIM-only deal, you could save around £335 a year, according to Uswitch.
If you don’t want to switch, call your current provider and haggle. “Suppliers really don’t want to lose customers, so if they find a better deal elsewhere, they may be able to match it,” Mr. Doku says.
Refer a friend…£200
If you are a customer of a company you like and would recommend, check to see if they have a referral incentive.
For example, you can earn £20 if you invite a friend to join the PayPal payment website and you both spend at least £5 within 30 days of signing up. You can invite up to ten friends.
Similarly, customers of network provider Three can get up to £80 to share with a friend when they recommend one of its products.