CHRISTMAS can take a hit on your finances at the best of times, but we are set to see the cost of presents, food and more rocket this festive season.
The price of toys has increased by up to 50%, while festive grub could set you back more than you bargained for as supply issues causes havoc for customers.
Energy bills are rising too as wholesale gas prices surge, adding more onto the cost of getting by this winter.
With eye-watering price hikes, you'll be wanting to know how to drive down costs and have savings in place to help pay your way through the festive season.
To help you tuck enough cash away in time for the big day, we've come up with a money saving challenge that could help you save up to £1,125 by the time December 25 comes around.
With Brits set to spend an average of £1,275 each for the special day this year, the savings you'll make will nearly cover this cost.
We explain how you can get involved with our money saving challenge to help soften the toll on your bank account this Christmas.
How does our money saving challenge work?
Our money saving challenge is based on putting aside cash each day based on festive Christmas dates.
So if you picked December 25 – the big day itself – as your chosen date, then you would have to put £25 a way every day from now up until Christmas.
As there are 45 days left between now and December 25, you'll have saved up £1,125 if you start saving today.
Of course, you can save even more – or less – depending on the festive date you choose.
For example, if you picked December 31 – New Year's Eve – then you could £1,395 in time for Christmas Day, and £1,080 if you picked Christmas Eve which is December 24.
If you picked £26 for Boxing Day, then you could save £1,170.
Putting aside this amount of cash per day could be a stretch for a lot of families, so you could use the popular festive song, 12 Days of Christmas, instead.
Saving £12 a day up until Christmas would give you £540 – which is still a healthy stash for your big day.
What other Christmas savings challenges are there?
Our Christmas savings challenge isn't the only one you can follow to save you cash.
Money saving blog Katie Saves has outlined the "round down your accounts" challenge that can help you squirrel away festive funds.
The challenge works by looking at your bank account daily – which is also a great way of monitoring your spending.
At the end of every day, check your bank balance, round it up or down and transfer this cash into your savings account.
The blog uses the example of having £151.16 in your account.
In this instance, you can choose to transfer 16p into your savings account to make your balance stand at £151, or transfer £1.16 to round it to the nearest £10 which would leave you with £150.
If you're strapped for cash, this might be a more affordable way of putting aside money as you'll be dealing with smaller sums of money.
The Go Fund Yourself Christmas challenge could help you put away up to £500 – and win an extra £20 to put towards the big day.
Go Fund Yourself was set up by financial campaigner and writer, Alice Tapper and her Instagram now has 50.6k followers.
She told The Sun: " It's not about scrimping, making your own wax melts or hand-rearing a turkey (unless that's your thing), it's a simple nudge to get you planning ahead and deciding on the kind of Christmas you want and can afford."
First of all, you need to pick if you want to save £500, £300 or £150.
Then work out how much you need to save each week from November 4, which is when the challenge started to reach this goal.
So you'd need to save £62.50 a week to reach £500, £37.50 a week to save £300, and £18.75 to save £150.
You can get an extra £20 bonus if you use the savings app Chip to tuck your cash away.
Every few days, app Chip calculates what you can afford to save – and then transfers that money from your current account to your Chip account automatically.
Download the app for free via Google Play or the App Store. You'll need to include some personal information including your phone number and date of birth.
Once your account is set up, head to the profile tab of the app and enter the promotional code GFY20.
You'll need to have saved at least £1 into your Chip Savings account to get the £20 bonus which you'll receive on December 13.
How can I hit my savings target?
No matter which Christmas savings challenge you use, you'll need to figure out how you're going to make these savings.
One way to save potentially hundreds of pounds a month is buy changing the way you shop for your groceries.
The Sun has spoken to plenty of savvy savers who have managed to slice their food bill in half by switching to cheaper shops like Aldi and Lidl.
Shopping for yellow sticker foods could also help you bag shopping for up to 75% off the original price tag.
As well as finding ways to cut back your spending, you could also make money too.
The Sun has spoken to thrifty Brits who make up to £300 a month from filling out online surveys.
YouGov surveys and signing up to Usertesting are ways of getting extra cash in your pocket.
How can I make my money go further?
When you're saving your cash, thinking carefully about where you're going to put it can help boost your savings.
Setting up a savings access account could be a good way to get interest on your money.
A savings account will pay a fixed rate of interest but it can be hard to currently find deals that beat the rate of inflation.
Using a comparison website like Money Supermarket or Which? will help you to see which bank is offering the best rate.
Moneyfacts finance expert Eleanor Williams said: "Comparing options and keeping a close eye on the top rate tables if their priority is market-leading rates may reveal some less familiar brand names, but as long as the provider is protected by FSCS, there is little reason not to consider them.”
Putting your cash into Premium Bonds could also help to make the most of your cash.
Premium Bonds are a way to save but are different from a savings account because they don’t offer interest.
Instead, you’re in with a regular chance to win a prize with as much as £1million up for grabs.
Premium Bonds can be bought from the government-backed National Saving and Investments (NS&I) which also offers a variety of savings products too.
You need to put in a minimum of £25 to get started and you can invest up to £50,000.
Each £1 you put in Premium Bonds is an entry in to the monthly prize draw.
Because Premium Bonds are government-backed, your money is safe and there's no risk of losing your cash.
You could also potentially make returns on your cash by investing in stocks and shares.
But it's important to note that while your cash could go up, it could just as easily go down – so you should only put in what you can afford to lose.
We've previously explained how you can save over £10,000 for Christmas in just a matter of months.
A savvy saver has explained how you can make £2,000 in time for Christmas so you don't break the bank during the festive season.
We round up the full list of supermarket Christmas saver schemes – and how much free cash you could get.
We pay for your stories!
Do you have a story for The Sun Money team?
Email us at [email protected]
Source: Read Full Article