This content originally appeared in the MSE weekly email on 16 September 2015.
The inching of Christmas ever earlier upsets us as much as the next Scrooge, but many festive savers only work if you do them early. And with 100 days to go today, now's the time. Our 48 Saves of Christmas has 'em all, here's 10 as an early gift:
- 5% cashback on your Xmas shopping. The Amex Everyday* credit card pays 5% cashback on your first three months' spending (max £100). Get it now and this falls during the high spend Christmas period. Repay IN FULL each month to avoid the 22.9% rep APR. Full help in cashback cards.
- Beware. The joy of giving can be selfish. See Martin's Ban Unnecessary Xmas Gifts blog.
- Book train tickets 12 weeks in advance. That's when most cheap advance tickets launch, gaining max availability. Full help in train tricks plus some December cheap coach tickets are already selling.
- Set up a Christmas cupboard. It's part of many MoneySavers' Christmas arsenal. From now, if you spot a hot bargain (often via this email) that fits as a present on your list, bag it, wrap it, and pop it in the Christmas cupboard.
- Bag hidden eBay bargains for gifts. Find 'clilection-only' items with our Local eBay Deals Mapper (iPhone, Android apps).
- Split the cost by four and save that monthly. A typical family Christmas costs £820 – a huge amount from one month's salary. If you haven't started saving, there's still time. Eg, put £200 aside from September, October and November income to spread the cost.
- Time for a personal stock clearance. Walk around your home - if there's anything you haven't used, consider flogging it to raise cash. From lid games to clothes, mobiles, toys etc, find how to flog it for max cash.
- Don't borrow for Christmas - but if you'll do it anyway, ensure it's at 0%. The longest 0% spending card is Clydesdale* or Yorkshire Bank* 26 months, yet though you've time before it jumps to 18.9% rep APR, aim to clear before next Christmas or you just perpetuate the misery. Full help, safety warnings and free eligibility calc in Top 0% Cards (APR Examples).
- Can you demoHOHOtivate extra cash? From small cutbacks come big savings. See the DemoHOHOtivator toli.
- Boost funds by 4% with supermarket stamps. You can trick supermarket savings schemes to boost your budget.