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Consumerist Christmas Survival Guide

Reading this post will save you £600+, receive up to 7% cash back on your Christmas shopping, and possibly get you free shipping. Merry Christmas!

How to survive Christmas with your wealth intact

The annual silly season is upon us once again.

Shopping centres are rammed with people gormlessly buying loads of crap they probably don’t need, often using borrowed money in the form of credit cards.

Buying crap we don't need with money we don't have.

Shop Assistants wearing painted on smiles twitch as those same tired Christmas songs play over the PA system for the millionth time today. They secretly fantasise about punching in the face Mariah, Wham!, the Pogues, and every single member of the Band Aid super group.

At this time of year we all feel pressured to lavish expensive gifts on our nearest and dearest. It’s supposed to be a special time of year, right? And it only comes around once a year.

Before you reach for your credit card… STOP!


Before you reach for your credit card... STOP!

I’m all for having a happy holiday season, but not it if paying for it is going to financially hamstring us for the first few months of next year.

Minimise the financial pain

Here are five things you can to do minimise your financial pain this Christmas.

#1: Don’t spend money you don’t have. If you can’t afford to pay cash for something then you can’t afford it.

[deep breath]

<rant>
Remember when it comes to gifts it is supposed to be the thought that counts, not the price tag.

People will remember experiences long after they would have forgotten receiving crap they didn’t really want anyway.

For those things you can afford, that will be appreciated, and you still wish to buy… be smart about it.
</rant>

#2: Shop via cash back shopping portals, like Quidco or TopCashBack.

These portals pay cash back on purchases you make, essentially giving you a 1-5% discount on your purchases.

They work by displaying affiliate links to thousands of websites. You click on a link, are taken to the store’s website, and do your shopping. The portal then receives a small commission on your purchases, some of which they pass on to you.

#3: Pay with a fee free cash back/reward credit card. The card provider will “reward” your purchases by giving you 1-2% cash back, gift cards, or loyalty program points.

Credit card interest rates are extortionate, so always pay the balance in full before the interest free period concludes.

Providers include John Lewis, British Airways, and many of the large supermarket chains.

#4: Always do a Google search for current promotion codes or voucher codes offered by the store you are interested in. Often these vouchers will give you free shipping, or a percentage discount off your total bill.

#5: Shop during promotional periods.

The Black Friday / Cyber Monday and post-Christmas sales often offer discounts, particularly on end-of-range items or stock that stores are trying to clear. You'll also likely be able to negotiate a better deal on big ticket items in late December as the sales commission period looms to a close.

Bonus Tip: Don’t sign up for an expensive 12+ month gym membership straight after Christmas.

You’ll have stopped going by mid-February. You know it. I know it.

So what?

Reading this post has likely saved you £600+ in gym fees, earned you up to 7% cash back on your Christmas shopping, and hopefully seen it all delivered for free without you needing to set foot in a store! Merry Christmas!

Now you can pay me back by putting on those old trainers and going for a jog around the local park. For free.

Don't take out an expensive gym membership you won't use, jog for free instead.
An old guy wearing this shirt ran past me in the Paris Marathon.
Natalie Hastings posted this photo, it might even be the same guy.

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