Food that you’re not going to eat and chocolate that gets left at the bottom of the tin are just some of the things we waste money on at Christmas. But have you ever thought of the other things you waste money on? Cutting back on some of the pointless things during Christmas may save you cash to get through the most wonderful time of year.

Gifts for people you don’t like

What is the point of buying a gift for someone you don’t like? If you wanted to save some cash you could buy a very small gift or even nothing at all? If you wanted to be polite you could give a card or even send an obligatory message over social media.

Alternatively, you could agree to a present amnesty with people. Meaning you both decide not to get each other presents.

Christmas decorations

Everyone likes to decorate trees, desks and the house in a variety of seasonal accessories.

Before you head to any of the big four supermarkets to get tinsel, you should take a trip to your local Poundland or B&M Bargains. Or assuming you’ve put the decorations in the loft it’s also worth re-using what you already have.

Extended guarantee

Most major high street retailers offer various add-ons for household electricals.  With electrical items you may be offered extended warranty options at an additional cost. It’s worth remembering that some retailers include this as standard. John Lewis and CostCo are two retailers who offer longer guarantees on electrical goods. Worth thinking about if you’re considering paying more for added peace of mind.

Christmas parties

There’ll be at least a couple of parties that you may have to show your face at during the season of goodwill. If you’re having to buy drinks or gifts you could find that you’re spending more than you’d like. It all adds up if you’re having to get a cab, buy a new outfit, presents etc. Even if you manage to cut back on one party, you could save a little bit of cash. This could pay for more presents or even help towards increased heating costs during winter.


December normally brings a period of happiness and joy while many of us wait for presents from Santa. With festive cheer in the air, it’s easy to get carried away. If you’ve got an active calendar during December either cut back or go sober.

Panic buying food

Some people are guilty of this every year. As everything shuts down on Christmas Day it can lead to panic buying in the event you may run out of something or the shops won’t have any bread left. In situations like this it helps to plan and budget for meals in advance. Leaving you with more time to enjoy a mince pie or three.

Black Friday sales

It can be tempting to head to the shops when the lure of Black Friday sales are calling. Just remember two key things. One – do I need it? Two – is it worth it? This may help you to think about any unnecessary spending should you get sucked into the hype.

Expensive wrapping paper

Wrapping paper looks great up until the moment that it’s pulled off and emptied on to the floor. Any Christmas gift wrapping doesn’t have to be expensive. As long as you can’t see through it, you should be able to pick up a roll for about a pound or less. If you are buying for any Marvel superhero fans, you could use an old comic book as an alternative to wrapping paper.

High store card interest rates

Christmas can be an expensive time of year. So it can be tempting to take out credit to cover the costs. With store cards there may be an offer of getting a discount off your first purchase. What you need to consider is if you can afford any repayments and also think about the costs if you get in to debt. Even with an introductory discount you may pay more than you save if there is a high interest rate. It’s also worth remembering that only adequately trained financial staff should be selling any form of credit or finance – and they should also inform you of the risks of taking out credit.