The great money-saving Easter egg hunt

Are you ready to embark on an adventure that’ll lead you straight to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? Well, maybe not gold, but definitely some extra cash in your pocket. Get your baskets ready because we’re about to embark on the ultimate money-saving Easter egg hunt.

1. Hunt for hidden discounts:

Just like Easter eggs, discounts and deals are hidden all around us, waiting to be discovered. Keep your eyes peeled for coupons, promo codes, and special offers both online and in-store. Who knows, you might stumble upon a golden ticket to major savings.

2. Crack open budget-friendly recipes:

Instead of splurging on pricey meals, why not crack open some budget-friendly recipes? From DIY gourmet sandwiches to wallet-friendly one-pot wonders, cooking at home can save you a fortune. Plus, it’s a cracking way to impress your friends and family with your culinary skills.

3. Eggs-quisite DIY decorations:

Why shell out a fortune on fancy decorations when you can DIY your own eggs-quisite Easter decor? Get crafty with paint, glitter, and whatever else you have lying around the house. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also have a blast unleashing your inner artist.

4. Follow the thrift store trail:

Ready to embark on a thrifty treasure hunt? Head to your local thrift store and uncover hidden gems at bargain prices. From vintage fashion finds to quirky home decor, you never know what treasures you might stumble upon. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure, after all.

5. Plant the seeds of savings:

Why not start your very own money-saving garden? Growing your own fruits, veggies, and herbs not only helps you save on grocery bills but also ensures you have fresh, organic produce at your fingertips. It’s a green way to save some green.

6. Share the savings love:

Just like Easter is all about sharing, why not spread the savings love with your friends and family? Organise a swap meet where you can trade clothes, books, and other items you no longer need. Not only will you declutter your space, but you’ll also score some new goodies without spending a dime.

So there you have it, folks – the ultimate guide to turning your money-saving journey into a fun-filled Easter egg hunt. Remember, with a little creativity and a keen eye for hidden treasures, you can unearth some serious savings this season.

Happy hunting!

Budget-friendly-winter-tips

Winter not only brings the joy of festivities but also a chill that often leads to increased energy bills. As we embark on this season, it’s the perfect time to explore budget-friendly ways to stay warm and cosy without breaking the bank:

  1. Layer up:
    Start with good base layers. Thermal shirts and leggings can work wonders, trapping heat close to your body. Layering allows you to adjust your clothing to stay comfortable as the temperature fluctuates.
  2. Seal the leaks:
    Check for drafts around windows and doors. Draft stoppers or weather-stripping can help seal gaps, keeping cold air out and warm air in. It’s a simple and cost-effective way to improve insulation.
  3. Warm drinks and foods:
    Embrace the power of warmth from the inside. Sip on hot drinks like tea, coffee, or cocoa. Opt for hearty, warm meals that not only satisfy your taste buds but also raise your body temperature.
  4. DIY insulation:
    For those on a tight budget, consider DIY insulation solutions. Heavy curtains can act as an extra barrier against the cold. You can even use bubble wrap on windows for a temporary insulating fix.
  5. Utilise sunlight:
    Open your curtains during the day to let sunlight in. Sunlight not only brightens your space but also adds natural warmth. Close them at night to trap the heat inside.
  6. Blanket comfort:
    Keep cosy blankets within reach. Whether you’re lounging on the sofa or working at your desk, having a warm blanket handy allows you to stay warm without cranking up the heat.
  7. Energy-efficient heating:
    If you use a space heater, make sure it’s energy-efficient. Place it strategically to maximise its effectiveness. Set it to a reasonable temperature and layer up, allowing you to keep warm without a hefty energy bill.

As the winter season unfolds, we hope these tips empower you to navigate the colder months with confidence, warmth, and financial savvy. Small changes in your daily habits and home environment can lead to significant savings, ensuring that you not only enjoy the beauty of winter but also have some extra funds for those holiday treats.

The No-Spend Challenge: a fun and rewarding way to save money

What is the no-spend challenge?

The no-spend challenge is a financial challenge where you commit to not spending any money on non-essential items for a set period of time. This could be a week, a month, or even a year, depending on your goals and financial situation.

The goal of the no-spend challenge is to help you save money, reduce your debt, and become more mindful of your spending habits. It can also be a great way to declutter your life and focus on the things that are most important to you.

How to do the no-spend challenge

If you’re interested in trying the no-spend challenge, here are a few tips to help you get started:

  1. Set a goal. What do you want to achieve with your no-spend challenge? Do you want to save money for a down payment on a house? Pay off your credit card debt? Build your emergency fund? Once you know your goal, you’ll be more motivated to stick with the challenge.
  2. Choose a time frame. How long do you want to commit to the no-spend challenge? If you’re new to this, it’s best to start with a shorter time period, such as a week or two. As you become more comfortable, you can gradually increase the time frame.
  3. Make a list of exceptions. What expenses are essential and cannot be avoided? This may include things like rent, utilities, groceries, and transportation. You may also want to include expenses for things like childcare, medication, and debt payments.
  4. Plan ahead. Once you know what expenses you have, you can start planning ahead for your no-spend challenge. This means meal planning, creating a budget, and finding free or low-cost activities to do.
  5. Track your progress. It’s helpful to track your progress during the no-spend challenge. This will help you stay motivated and see how much money you’re saving. You can use a simple spreadsheet or a budgeting app to track your spending.

No-spend challenge ideas

Here are a few ideas for activities you can do during the no-spend challenge:

  • Cook at home. Eating out is one of the biggest expenses for many people. Save money by cooking at home instead.
  • Borrow books and movies from the library. Instead of buying new books and movies, borrow them from the library for free.
  • Go for walks or bike rides. This is a great way to get exercise and fresh air without spending any money.
  • Visit free museums and attractions. Many cities have free museums, parks, and other attractions. Do some research to find what’s available in your area.
  • Have game nights with friends and family. Instead of going out, invite your friends and family over for a game night. You can play board games, card games, or video games.
  • Volunteer your time. Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community and meet new people. It’s also a great way to get out of the house and stay active without spending any money.

Tips for success

Here are a few tips to help you succeed with your no-spend challenge:

  • Tell your friends and family. Letting your friends and family know about your no-spend challenge will help you stay accountable. They can also offer support and encouragement.
  • Avoid temptation. If you know you’re likely to be tempted to spend money, avoid those situations. For example, if you love to shop, don’t go to the mall during your no-spend challenge.
  • Find creative ways to have fun. There are many ways to have fun without spending money. Get creative and find activities that you enjoy that don’t involve spending money.
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you slip up and spend money during your no-spend challenge, don’t beat yourself up about it. Just pick yourself up and start again.

The no-spend challenge is a great way to save money, reduce your debt, and become more mindful of your spending habits. It can also be a great way to declutter your life and focus on the things that are most important to you. If you’re interested in trying the no-spend challenge, follow the tips above to get started.

Tips for planning for the school holidays

Term breaks are the perfect time for families to create wonderful memories together. But let’s face it, financial stress can sometimes put a damper on those plans. Don’t worry… Here are some holiday planning tips to help you make the most of your family time without breaking the bank.

1. Plan ahead: The key to stress-free holidays is planning. As soon as the term starts, start setting aside a small amount each week. It adds up over time and makes paying for the holiday expenses a lot smoother.

2. Create a budget: Set a budget for your term break and stick to it. List out all the expenses, including accommodation, transportation, activities, and meals. This will help you avoid overspending and focus on what truly matters.

3. DIY fun: Get creative with your holiday activities. DIY crafts, picnics and nature walks are not only enjoyable but also cost-effective. Quality time doesn’t always have to come with a hefty price tag.

4. Travel smart: If you’re planning a trip, be on the lookout for deals and discounts on flights and accommodations. Consider travelling during off-peak times when prices are more wallet-friendly.

5. Pack snacks: Packing snacks and drinks can save you a significant amount, especially if you’re travelling with kids. It also helps curb those impulse buys that tend to sneak up on us.

6. Hertsavers to the rescue: Now, let’s talk about how Hertsavers Credit Union can be your holiday hero. They offer a variety of savings accounts, including the Holiday Savings Account. It’s like a dedicated piggy bank for your vacations. Setting up automatic transfers to this account ensures you’re always prepared for that well-deserved break.

7. Child Benefits Loan: Hertsavers has your back when unexpected expenses pop up. Their Child Benefits Loan provides a quick and affordable solution to cover those surprise costs without ruining your vacation plans.

Remember, holidays are all about creating cherished memories with your loved ones. With smart planning, a solid budget, and the support of Hertsavers Credit Union, you can enjoy your term breaks to the fullest without worrying about financial stress. So, go ahead and start packing for that unforgettable adventure.

Transform your home on a budget: home improvement tips

Transforming your home and making it a cosy haven shouldn’t break the bank. With creativity, resourcefulness, and a little help from Hertsavers Credit Union’s homeowner loan, you can embark on your home improvement journey without stretching your finances. In this article, we’ll explore five budget-friendly ways to enhance your living space, turning it into a welcoming oasis for you and your loved ones.

1. Embrace the power of repurposing

One of the most cost-effective ways to make home improvements is by repurposing items you already have. Before rushing to the store, look at your existing furniture and decor. With a fresh coat of paint or some DIY skills, you can transform old pieces into new, stylish additions to your home. Get inspired by online tutorials, and let your creativity shine!

2. Get thrifty with second-hand finds

Thrifting is trendy but also an excellent way to find unique and affordable treasures for your home. Browse local thrift shops, charity stores, and online marketplaces to discover pre-loved furniture and décor items. A little sanding, staining, or reupholstering can give these pieces a new lease on life, adding character and charm to your living spaces.

3. DIY décor delights

Home improvement doesn’t have to involve expensive contractors and high-end designers. Many upgrades can be accomplished through simple do-it-yourself projects. From crafting your wall art to creating custom curtains or pillow covers, there are numerous budget-friendly DIY ideas available online. These personal touches will save you money and make your home uniquely yours.

4. Focus on energy efficiency

While making home improvements, consider enhancing your home’s energy efficiency. This approach not only benefits the environment but also reduces long-term utility costs. Simple measures like weather-stripping doors and windows, adding insulation, and switching to energy-efficient lighting can make a significant difference. Hertsavers Credit Union’s homeowner loan can support your energy-saving upgrades leading

5. Landscaping on a budget

Don’t forget about the exterior of your home! A well-maintained garden and outdoor space can greatly enhance the overall appeal of your property. Start by planning a low-maintenance garden with native plants that require less water and care. Consider creating a vegetable or herb garden, not only as a budget-friendly landscaping idea but also to enjoy the benefits of homegrown produce.

In conclusion, home improvement on a shoestring budget is an achievable, fun and rewarding experience. By repurposing, thrifting, DIY-ing, focusing on energy efficiency, and budget-friendly landscaping, transform your living space without breaking the bank. And with the support of Hertsavers Credit Union’s homeowner loan, you can take your home improvement plans to new heights. Remember, a welcoming and cosy home doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag.

What is financial resilience?

Financial resilience is a crucial aspect of maintaining both financial stability and mental well-being. It refers to the ability to effectively cope with financial setbacks, adapt to changing financial circumstances, and sustain psychological well-being during times of financial stress. Developing financial resilience involves building a strong foundation of knowledge and skills to manage finances, as well as cultivating a healthy mindset and coping mechanisms.

Individuals with high financial resilience are better equipped to navigate unexpected expenses, job loss, economic downturns, or other financial challenges without experiencing overwhelming stress or negative psychological effects. They can analyse their financial situation objectively, make informed decisions, and implement strategies to mitigate the impact of setbacks. Financially resilient individuals also tend to have emergency savings, a diversified income, and a flexible budget that can accommodate fluctuations in income or expenses.

Moreover, maintaining psychological well-being during financial stress is crucial as it can impact overall mental health. Financial resilience includes developing a positive mindset, seeking support from loved ones or professionals, practicing self-care, and recognising that setbacks are temporary and can be overcome. By fostering financial resilience, individuals can cultivate a sense of control over their financial lives, reduce anxiety and stress, and improve their overall mental health and quality of life.

Money saving tips for planning your bank holidays

Bank holidays are a great opportunity to take a break from our hectic schedules and spend quality time with family and friends. However, they can also take a toll on our wallets if we’re not careful.

Here are some money-saving tips to help you make the most of your bank holidays without breaking the bank.

Plan Ahead: Start planning for the upcoming bank holidays as early as possible. Create a budget for the activities you plan to do, including travel, food, and entertainment. Having a plan in place will help you avoid overspending.

Compare Prices: Before making any purchases, compare prices from different retailers. Look for deals and discounts that can help you save money. You can also check with your credit union to see if they offer any special offers or discounts for members.

Use Cash: Consider using cash instead of credit cards for your bank holiday expenses. This will help you avoid overspending and accumulating high-interest credit card debt. If you don’t have enough cash on hand, consider taking out a small loan from your credit union to cover your expenses.

Opt for more affordable activities
Instead of going out to eat at a fancy restaurant, you could have a picnic or a barbecue at home. You could also visit local parks and attractions instead of going on expensive vacations.

Remember that if you need extra cash to cover your bank holiday expenses, Hertsavers Credit Union is here to help. You can apply for a small loan to help you cover your expenses without breaking the bank.

How to ease the financial stress from the back to school season

Image source: Canva

School costs have skyrocketed however here is how savvy parents can ease the pressure on their financial pockets:

Set a spending limit

If you want to avoid back-to-school stress, setting a spending limit and creating a list of back-to-school supplies is essential.

This will also help you with being frugal with how you spend such as taking advantage of schools’ second-hand options for uniforms, avoiding doubling up on school stationery, limiting bought lunches to special occasions and ensuring that all items are labelled to avoid paying to replace lost items.

Save by not spending a penny

You may already have some of the items on the shopping list at hand. Look around your home before you go shopping.

Don’t be shy – get second-hand items

While some parents may cringe at purchasing second-hand items, buying second-hand items such as textbooks and uniforms can save you pounds.

Quality over quantity

Remember that the cheapest option won’t always be the best. Therefore focus on the quality of the item to make sure it has longevity so that it can last the whole year (and beyond).

Financial literacy for children

Take the back-to-school season as an opportunity to teach your children about the costs associated with back-to-school. You can show them how to budget, and save to establish good money habits for the future and even how to look after their items so that they last longer. You can read our blog on ‘teaching children about money’ here.

Start saving ahead of the back-to-school season

If you want to encourage the habit of saving with your child, this is a good chance to do it. Open a Junior Savers Account and agree on how much your child should aim to save each month and for how long. When it’s the next back-to-school season, work together on how they will spend the money.

Get financial help with Hertsavers

If you are still struggling with back-to-school, why not apply for a child benefit loan?

Find ways to de-stress yourself

Did you know that if you manage your stress, it can help you with your finances? This is because you will be able to see more clearly where you will be able to manage your spending and saving in a better way. Therefore, instead of focusing on ‘how to save on back-to-school spending’, focus on de-stressing. For example:

  • Meditate for five minutes each morning and evening.
  • Reconnect with your family during some shared downtime
  • Make a note of what is stressing you and find ways of coping with stress
  • Take up a hobby that can help you ease your stress. This could be cooking, baking, reading, running, gardening etc.

 

How to save money for travelling

Travelling, especially for leisure can be perceived to be an expensive activity. However, this is not always the case as we have researched some tips from seasoned travellers on how to save money for travelling.

1. First things first, make travelling a saving goal

Saving up enough money for travel can be seen as a sacrifice. However, with the right mindset, you will be able to do it.

Make your holiday savings goal SMART i.e.

S (specific) – Think about where you are hoping to travel to and how much it costs to get there. From there, think about how much money you need to keep aside to achieve the target amount.

M (measurable) – Determine how you will measure how much money you have saved by keeping a record. You can easily see this when you open a savings account.

A (attainable) – be reasonable with how much you will be able to save within a timeframe. For instance, you can’t make £5,000 in one month but £250 is achievable. Also, think about how you will save money to achieve your goal.

R (realistic) – Think about whether you will really be able to save the amount of money in the period of time that you have kept aside. What will you do differently (and be realistic about it)? For instance, is it realistic for you to walk to work rather than take public transport or your car?

T (timely) – Know when you want to travel so that you can set your holiday savings goal with the travel dates in mind.

To achieve your savings goal, why not open a Hertsavers Holiday Savings Account? You can save as much as you want and whenever you wish. When you are ready, you can take all your money out to pay for that dream holiday.

To set up your Holiday Savings Account, contact us via email at office@hertsavers.co.uk.

2. Track your spending

While it seems daunting to check your bank balance, tracking expenses is an important part of learning where you can cut back, or even eliminate your spending.

In the process of saving towards your travel, write down everything that you are spending on. How much are you spending on food every week? How much are you spending on entertainment such as socialising, cable, events tickets, music, books etc?

3. Budget, budget, budget!

When travelling, there are two budgets that you need to keep – the first one is the budget for your trip while the second is your day-to-day life.

By working out how much your trip is going to cost you, you can make a travel budget so that you have an idea of how much you will be spending per day.

In your travel budget, think about the following:

  • How long are you travelling for? A week? A month? Back-packing for six months? This will help you consider how much you need in your bank account before setting off on your travels.
  • Accommodation – if you choose wisely, you can save on accommodation. For instance, consider staying in a hostel rather than a five-star hotel if you are on a tight budget.
  • Flights (if travelling abroad) – look out for flight deals; book ahead of time; if buying flights online, open an incognito window when researching flights as flight websites tend to hike up the prices each time you visit their websites.
  • Food – avoid eating out if you can and make food at home. If you have to eat out, check for online deals before choosing where to eat.
  • Shopping – make a list and stick to it. Only buy what you really need and avoid impulse buying.

4. Cut down on unnecessary spending or expenses

  • Do you really need Netflix, Apple TV, NOW TV and Amazon Prime all at the same time? Choose one that suits your needs and cancel the subscription for the rest.
  • Do you need a daily fix of shop-bought coffee every day? Make your own coffee at home and make a shop-bought coffee a treat once in a while.
  • Cooking – save £5 to £15 per meal by preparing your own food at home. This way you will save over £500 a month just by cooking at home.

This way you will be able to save money for your travel adventures.

5. Consider making some extra money

Perhaps you can find a “side-hustle” that you can work part-time such as a waiter, supermarket cashier, photographer, virtual assistant etc.

If you enjoy making crafts, consider making and selling them online on websites such as Etsy.

Do you speak more than three languages? Maybe look for jobs online as a translator or an online English tutor.

When you travelling, here are some quick money-saving tips to help you stick to your budget:

1. Plan to travel off-peak

This can drastically reduce your travel expenses. From flights to accommodation, you can make great savings just by travelling when there is no holiday season or during the school term.

2. Travel to cheap destinations

Some destinations are wonderful but can be quite expensive to travel to due to their popularity. Some of these include the USA, Australia, East Africa and Northern Europe.

Look for cheaper destinations where you can get a similar experience such as going on a ski trip to Bulgaria rather than France.

Also, do some research into destinations where your home currency goes further. Backpacker favourites like Mexico, Thailand and Vietnam offer a good exchange rate and the option to feel more relaxed when you’re there.

3. Look for free activities

With a little research, you may discover some free things to do in the area such as free walking tours, community events; discounted admission to popular places after a certain time of day or even just taking advantage of your accommodation’s free amenities.

4. Food

  • Shop at farmer’s markets and local stores. Farmer’s markets often lower the price of their food towards the end of the day. Also, shopping at local stores allows you to taste the local cuisine without having to pay the price of a restaurant.
  • Eat locally – rather than eating near a popular tourist site, eat further away on one of the side streets, for example, for cheaper meals.
  • If you are doing half-board where breakfast is included, eat a lot or have a late breakfast to keep you filled up for longer such that you need a light snack later.
  • Going with kids? Carry snacks and water during outings. It can get quite expensive to buy snacks on the go and spend money on bottled water. Therefore, think ahead and either take your own snacks from home and buy a case of water if needed. If it’s not possible to do that, go to a local supermarket and buy enough that will keep you going for the rest of the trip. Only get treats which can only be found locally in that area.

5. Get travel insurance

Even though it may seem like an unnecessary expense, it’s important to buy a policy for those ‘just in case’ scenarios as you may never know when you might need it. Look out for policies that give you medical coverage abroad, missed flight, lost baggage and theft.

6. Get a local sim card

If you are travelling abroad, you can get hit by roaming charges which can be quite expensive. Therefore, get yourself a local sim card so that you can have a working phone abroad where you can stay connected and in case of emergencies.

7. Manage your finances on the road

Withdrawing money abroad can be quite costly as money changers and airport exchange booths usually charge a high fee and find a way to rip you off.

Therefore opt for a travel money card where you can load the right currency and a set budget. You can also use a prepaid travel card such as Revolut and Wise.

If you prefer to use cash, withdraw a larger sum in the local currency where you are travelling to. Keep an eye on fluctuating exchange rates before you travel and order your currency in advance to get the best deal.

8. Travelling around

If you are planning on going from one place to another while at your destination, consider hiring a car.

If driving is not an option, then try and book accommodation which is near a transport link such as a train station or bus stop that can help you get around.

Conclusion

Remember to follow through with your holiday savings goal and stick to your budget.

Hold yourself accountable or get someone who can keep you accountable so that you can stick with your goals.

Remember the formula for saving money, ‘Live below your means, and save the rest’.

All the best in achieving your travel dreams.

If you have any money-saving travel tips, do let us know and we will add them here.

References:

The World Pursuit

Huffpost.com

Spend Life Traveling

Expert Vagabond

Are you ready for Christmas?

Christmas is less than a month away and many of us will be splurging on Christmas presents and preparing for Christmas get-togethers. It can get quite stressful especially if you are on a budget or working right up to Christmas Eve.

We have put some tips for you on how you can plan ahead to save all the stress that comes with getting ready for Christmas.

1. Get ahead in planning and preparing

To make sure that you don’t overspend at Christmas is to make sure that you plan properly.

Make a budget to work out how much you are willing to spend at Christmas and use lists and planners to keep track of what you are spending on. Your budget should be realistic and keep some money aside in case of emergencies.

Make lists of who you are buying presents for, a food and drinks list and everything that you are planning on doing during the Christmas break.

2. Small cuts, big savings

Once you have your budget and lists, you can shop around for deals so you can start saving.

Also, if you have a shortfall on your budget, see what you can cut out from your regular habits. For example, rather than buying lunch at work, make some at home and take it with you.

3. Save on presents

It can get quite stressful to splash out on presents. Here are some ideas on reducing the cost of Christmas presents:

  • Limit present buying

Apart from buying presents for those closest to you, re-think who you are getting a present for.

If you want to really cut costs on spending, maybe it’s worth having a discussion to put a hold on giving presents. You might be pleasantly surprised to see how many would be willing to let the gift-giving go.

  • Secret Santa with a limit of £5 or £10

If you have a big group of friends or colleagues, Secret Santa is a good way to cut down the Christmas present costs.

All of the names of the people involved are put into a hat, and each person draws out a name. You only buy for the name that you have picked, rather than having to buy for everyone.

Add in a low budget limit, say £5 or £10, and it’s a great way to keep the cost of Christmas down.

You can even use an online Secret Santa generator such as Elfster or Drawnames to make it even easier to set up a Secret Santa.

  • Make your own gifts

You can make some delicious sweet treats such as cookies, jams, curds or muffins.

If you don’t have time to make homemade treats, you can make your own gift vouchers where you can pledge to do something such as make a meal, do their laundry for them, babysit for your friends or mow their lawn.

  • Buy a combined gift

If you are buying a combined gift, you could do a hamper for the family such as a family movie night, basketful of homemade goodies or something useful that they could use as a family.

  • Get Christmas Crafty

Make your own cards and gifts. You can also get the children involved in making these.

4. Get cashback and boost your budget

There are cashback websites such as TopCashBack and Quidco that can help you add extra pounds back to your account (and Christmas budget) when you shop online through their websites.

Remember to always shop around for the best offers and check prices.

5. Save on food

Food does play an important part in any celebration and could be the biggest part of your Christmas budget.

To cut costs on Christmas food:

  • Limit food waste by only buying what you need or thinking of other recipes that you can have for leftovers.
  • Plan the menus for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

By meal planning, you can write out your shopping list and help you with food budgeting. This will also help you keep control of your Christmas spending.

  • Find deals on wine and bubble online

Some supermarkets start their deals in early November so keep your eyes peeled for pre-Christmas deals.

Check out wine sites to make sure that you are getting the best value for money.

  • Buy own-brand products

Quite often than not, the own-brand products are just as good (if not better) than the branded products. Therefore it’s worth trying out the cheaper alternatives and you may be pleasantly surprised.

However some products such as Christmas turkey, it’s worth spending a little extra to make sure that you have a high-quality product.

6. Advance bookings on travel

If you will be visiting your loved ones by train, it’s worth buying train tickets in advance. They are usually available around 12 weeks before the date of travel and the price is usually lowest soon after they are released.

7. Post early for Christmas

Be on the lookout for the last posting dates https://www.royalmail.com/christmas/last-posting-dates on the Royal Mail website.

By posting early, you may be able to use second class post rather than first-class stamps. This way you will be able to take advantage of slower, and cheaper parcel services.

8. Cut delivery costs

Rather than using the Post Office to send your heavy parcels, look for alternatives which may give you a better deal. For example, take a look at Hermes.

9. Prepare for next Christmas

  • Start saving early to spread the cost

You can open a Christmas Savings Account to help you start saving for next Christmas. You can withdraw your savings at the end of November of the next year. To open your Christmas Savings Account, simply email us.

  • Take advantage of end-of-sale bargains

Stock up on decorations, Christmas trees, cards, gifts and wrapping paper in the January sales.

Don’t forget to put them in a ‘Christmas box’ so that you don’t buy more later on.