Money-saving mum explains how she saved £2,000 this year & secured Christmas at no cost

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Money saving is a difficult endeavour to achieve, particularly when costs appear to mount up towards the end of the year. Research from the Bank of England has shown a typical household will spend a staggering £3,300 over Christmas, an extra £800 when compared to a normal month. But many households will still be looking to tighten their belts and be more financially efficient to ensure their money is protected.

While the cost of Christmas is undoubtedly significant for families, all is not lost when it comes to reducing the value of a spend. 

This was the case for Fiona Salmon, a 43-year-old mum of three, who now prepares for Christmas well in advance to ensure she spends no more than is necessary.

Fiona even shared how she was able to secure presents for her children at no cost this year. 

She said: “Just because I’m avoiding unnecessary costs and shop smartly, doesn’t mean I’m a Scrooge.

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“I see other mums and dads spend so much on their kids’ Christmas presents that they take up an entire living room and the kids are overwhelmed with stuff they never even use.

“I didn’t want to be one of those families that still have presents in the cellophane from the year before – and getting into debt for it too.”

Fiona was able to adopt a money-saving philosophy which saw her use a variety of loyalty schemes, as well as finding gifts second hand from marketplace websites.

Throughout the year, Fiona says her savvy shopping tips have saved her around £2,000.

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Indeed, since last Christmas, she has been able to save close to £350 on gifts for her four-year-old twins Joe and Finn, and her six-year-old daughter Chloe. 

Amongst her festive list this year, Fiona has picked out £44 worth of toys from Lego which she will be able to get for nothing due to her loyalty points. 

She added: “Christmas can be such an expensive time, with three kids, the pressure to buy meaningless tat can be absolutely huge.

“It feels incredible the amount you can get effectively for free, we aren’t buying extra things to earn points, just being organised about where we shop.”

Research undertake by the value communications provider Plusnet has shown many families are looking to cut their costs this year.

2020 has been challenging financially for millions of people, and spending less at Christmas is likely to be a sought after option.

Many people are looking at more familiar Christmas staples this year such as pyjamas and books.

And the most popular option for Britons is cash and vouchers to spend over the festive season. 

The study found 67 percent of people plan to spend under £500 on their Christmas presents this year.

But with a third of those spending less than £100, it is clear there is still work to be done for those hoping to significantly slash costs.

Some 76 percent of people, though, have put their foot down, and said they are refusing to buy anything they do not need this year. 

Fiona was also able to save money through switching her broadband to Plusnet to reduce her bills, with the company offering a similar basic approach to costs.

Sam Calvert, Marketing Director at Plusnet said: “Fiona is the perfect example of a savvy shopper who has saved money and stress by keeping things simple.

“She has realised she just needs the basics without the bells and whistles.”

For those who are hoping to save money this Christmas and change their habits in 2021, there are a number of ways to do so.

Britons are encouraged to set up a budget which lays out their income and expenditure to help them reduce their costs.

Similarly, families should also look to eliminate things they do not use or no longer need such as monthly subscriptions and extra direct debit costs. 

Finally, it is always worth undertaking an inventory within the home to see if there are any items to sell or to pass on. 

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