Cash smart

Our con­sumer life­style team are here to make your money go fur­ther

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1. Plan it

Sit down and work out how much you can af­ford to spend on Christ­mas this year, in­clud­ing ev­ery­thing from presents and food to so­cial­is­ing. Once you have your bud­get for gifts, draw up a list of who you want/need to buy for, and how much you can af­ford to spend on each per­son.

2. Find the best deals out there

Be­fore you spend, al­ways check price-com­par­i­son sites to make sure you’re get­ting the cheapest deal. Also, sign up to re­tail­ers’ e-mails, so you know about any of­fers. If you’re not see­ing fam­ily or friends you’re buy­ing gifts for un­til af­ter Christ­mas, you could wait and pick up cut-price bar­gains in the Jan­uary sales.

3. Don’t panic!

Plan­ning Christ­mas in ad­vance means you’ll be much less likely to panic buy, which can of­ten lead to shelling out more than you had planned. Plus, if you’re buy­ing items on­line, it means you won’t need to pay for ex­pen­sive ex­tras, such as ex­press de­liv­ery to make sure your presents ar­rive on time.

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