Photo: Pixabay/stevepb.

The pressure to spend money in the lead-up to the festive season has never been greater. Black Friday may signal the start of Christmas shopping, but there are ways to keep your spending in check.

#1 Make a budget

How much can you actually spend? It’s worth trying to stick to your budget. If you need to borrow money, give yourself time to look for the best repayment plans that won’t lump you with extra charges.

#2 Write a list

What do you need to plan for at Christmas? Write a list with all the gifts, food, decorations and anything else you need to purchase at Christmas – then start looking for the best deals.

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#3 Say no to those impulse purchases

Before you saw it on sale just now, had you intended to purchase it? It might look like a bargain, but you still have to pay for it, even if it is on sale! A good rule of thumb is to sleep on it before you buy. You might find the temptation is less the following morning when you’ve had time to think about it.

#4 Be aware of marketing ploys

Retailers have a stack of tricks up their sleeve at Christmas time. You’ll see a lot of online retailers offering free shipping over certain amounts. Don’t be tempted to purchase more just because you get free delivery. Their business is to entice you into buying their goods, but you need to look after your hard-earned money.

#5 Buy thoughtfully

One of the biggest culprits behind debt accumulation is meaningless gifts. Be sensible in your purchases and ask people what they would like. Your kids could make a list for Santa – remember that they don’t always value highly priced items; more often they’ll be excited by colourful wrapping paper and packaging.

#6 Think longer-term

Christmas is a time to celebrate. Enjoy the time with your family and friends – the season doesn’t need to place an unnecessary financial strain on your wallet. Have fun, but remember Christmas shouldn’t impact your finances for months afterwards.

What are your best tips to save money at Christmas? Let us know in the comments.

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