It is less than three months until Christmas! Are you worried about the cost? Saffron Building Society have put together these tips.

The festive period is a time when financial panic sets in for most Brits, which is no surprise, as the UK is proven to be a nation of unsuccessful savers.

A Financial Wellbeing Survey carried out by Saffron Building Society in 2021 found that, shockingly, only 1 in 4 people in the UK have set out any savings goals for the future or know how much they need to save to achieve those goals. Instead of turning to unwise means for securing enough money for Christmas, such as taking out loans or loading up credit cards, the society have created some top tips for a family focussed and affordable festive period.

Is it time to start rethinking how we celebrate Christmas? Commercialisation has had a detrimental effect on the enjoyment of the period for families. As the winter grips and our financial stability is tested, especially for those with low incomes, the joy of Christmas can be sucked into a pit of stress and anxiety.

2020 was a Christmas like no other, with celebrations and gatherings cancelled across the country, leaving many unable to even hug a loved one. However, as a bit of a re-set in our psyche, could it be that last Christmas made us focus on the most important thing about this time of year – spending time with the people we love. As champions of Financial Wellbeing, Saffron urges people who perhaps have not been able to save, to re-evaluate what they actually ‘need’ this Christmas – perhaps focus on the emotional needs of the family, and not materialistic expectations.

John Penberthy-Smith, Chief Commercial Officer at Saffron Building Society, said: “After the emotional impact of a lonely - and for some isolated - ‘pandemic Christmas’ last year, we need to focus more on the people that matter to us this year. Rather than spending unnecessarily on things that will provide a moment of happiness, we should focus more on our family and those that matter to us most. We have, therefore, identified the Top 5 affordable activities that won’t break the bank, but might just crack a smile.”


1. Make Your Own Decorations Together

Craft activities are a lovely way to spend time together as a family and making your own decorations will get the kids really excited for Christmas. Personalised decorations are much more meaningful than anything shop bought and this is a great way to save money. A lot of the things you can use to make Christmas decorations are really inexpensive, or you might already have them lying about the house.

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The list of decorations you can create is endless, but some of our favourites are homemade advent calendars, citrus garlands and snow globes.

2. Prioritise Staying in Touch

Staying in touch with your family and friends is so important at this time of year, and especially post pandemic, this is a priority we should not let slide. Last Christmas, we were not able to appreciate the company of our friends and family. While we might be able to hug each other this year, unexpected warm messages do make the people in your life feel valued. Send charity Christmas cards and be sure to Zoom or connect virtually with people who you might not see in person this year.

3. Make the Most of At Home Entertainment

Not only does the colder weather make it easier to spend more time together at home, there are lots of ways to have festive fun indoors as a family.

It is really tempting to attend loads of Christmas events, and attending your local Christmas fair can be a lovely way to spend an evening. However, a really easy way to save money this Christmas would be to entertain yourselves at home. And you can have so much fun!

Some of our ideas include: a Christmas movie marathon, family games nights, or you could take a stroll down your street in the evening and take a look at your neighbourhood’s Christmas lights. If you have any instruments at home, why not have a family carol singalong?

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4. Practise Acts of Kindness

Volunteering as a family or group of friends, or giving your time to any cause is a really productive way to spread Christmas cheer – and it doesn’t cost you a thing. Charities depend on the goodwill of people at Christmas to really get them through the rest of the year, and there are so many that you could benefit. If you can’t give your time, teach your children that donations are an important part of Christmas.

Crisis This Christmas is a fantastic campaign, and The Trussell Trust are always in need of donations if you want to help others to get a Christmas dinner this year.

5. Make Your Christmas Treats Yourself

It’s really tempting to fill the trolley with loads of Christmas treats at the supermarket, but you could spend an afternoon together making them yourselves at home! Let Bake Off inspire you to get baking – there are some cracking mince pie recipes out there. If you start practicing now, you’ll perfect your recipe by the time Christmas comes.

Throughout the course of the run up to Christmas, a raft of downloadable guides, activity sheets for Children and expert money saving tips for Christmas will be available to view for free at www.itsmorethanmoney.co.uk.

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