How to get through party season on a budget

Christmas is fast-approaching, but the current cost of living crisis means there’s a lot of financial anxiety around the upcoming festive period.

December is often packed full of Christmassy social events and work parties, not to mention the big day itself – and all food and gifts it entails.

It can be an incredibly expensive time. 

And with six in 10 UK adults already finding it difficult to keep up with their bills, any hacks for keeping costs down over the coming weeks are very much welcome.

To help everyone along, SilkFred has teamed up with some of Instagram’s money-saving experts to offer a few handy tips – especially if you’re feeling slightly overwhelmed by the upcoming party season.

Below are some things to keep in mind…

Gifts

If you’re buying for kids, money blogger Laura – who runs the popular personal finance Instagram account @thriftylondoner – recommends going by the rule of ‘something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read.’ 

She explains: ‘It helps to keep you on budget and stops your home from becoming cluttered.

‘If that’s not applicable to your family situation, try to start shopping as early as possible, and make the most of any discounts when you can.’

Secret Santa

When it comes to office gifting, Laura suggests making yourself the organiser of Secret Santa – in order to take control.

She says: ‘Suggest a £5 spending limit, and ask your colleagues to get creative.’

Discounts

When it comes to finding a bargain during the festive period, Francesca (@the.moneyfox) says: ‘One of my best hacks is using a browser extension called Honey.

‘It will automatically look for, and apply any voucher codes that it can find. It has saved me so much money.

‘As well as saving you money, it also offers cash back which you can convert into gift cards for sites such as Amazon.’

Going out

December can be an incredibly costly time, but there are a few things that can be done to cut the cash spent – such as hosting your own events, rather than going out.

Laura of @thriftylondoner suggests: ‘Potluck dinners are brilliant. Invite your friends or family around and ask them to bring a dish (or a bottle). It shares the cost and is a fun way to try new foods.’

If you need to keep the kids occupied during the Christmas break, Francesca (@the.moneyfox) says: ‘It’s always worth looking at your local Facebook groups or pages and seeing what is being offered locally, as there are usually a lot of cheap activities – such as nativities, festivals and fairs.’

Outfits

We all want to look our best during party season – whether it’s for an office event or Christmas Day itself. But buying a new festive outfit every year isn’t very economical – especially when money is tight.

Megan Watkins, head stylist at SilkFred, suggests a few things to try, to save money on outfits.

First up is sharing with friends. 

‘Setting up a swapping system with your stylish mates is basically like getting another wardrobe for free,’ says Megan. 

The next is to consider tailoring.

Megan says if you have an old party season outfit that you could wear again but something isn’t quite right, take it to your local tailors to be shortened, fixed or altered.

This often is far cheaper than a new outfit entirely.

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