Even though the date never changes, almost nobody is prepared for Christmas when it rolls around each year. We often put off saving until the last minute, perhaps relying on a Christmas bonus to cover the costs. And most people won’t start worrying about buying presents until there’s so much tinsel around the house you can’t avoid thinking about the big day.
Now that we’ve finally reached December, after this incredibly strange and stressful year, it’s probably time to start considering how we’re going to spend our time over Christmas, and what we can afford to spend!
We may be apart from our loved ones more this holiday season, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try and bring a little magic into our homes. So whether you started saving money ages ago in preparation for December, or are just starting to think about your budget now, ’tis the season of indulgence! We’ve come up with a few tips to cut back on unnecessary costs, so you can spend money on more important things.
Each week, we plan to explore different deals and offers you might already be considering. This week, we’ll be looking at gaming consoles – while we’re mostly stuck indoors due to government restrictions and the weather, this could be the perfect time to invest in a new console for hours of entertainment!
Save Money at Christmas
Before we get to the more exciting part, it’s a good idea to think about ways you can cut costs over Christmas without compromising on any of the festive spirit. Below are a few helpful tips to get you started:
Stick to a Budget
Creating a budget can be daunting. It’s not fun to sit down and think about how much we actually spend at the best of times, let alone over Christmas. But budgets really do work when it comes to saving money.
It’s important to make sure that the whole family is committed to the budget though. It certainly wouldn’t be fair if only half the family limits their gift buying to a certain price, while the other half just spend what they normally would. Discussing money often isn’t easy, but if you really want to reduce your spending this Christmas, you’ll need to come to an agreement with everyone you’re exchanging presents with.
Secondhand Doesn’t Have to be Second Rate
Most people don’t care whether their gift is new or secondhand – as long as it’s something they love! You can get plenty of bargains online via sites like eBay, if you’re willing to buy second hand as well as brand new items.
While the luxury Christmas range always looks incredibly tempting, a lot of the time you really can’t taste the difference! With the veg in particular, it can work out so much cheaper to buy these at a less costly supermarket like Lidl or Aldi.
And if you don’t want to cut back on the products themselves, you could consider just buying less overall. Let’s face it, there are always a huge amount of leftovers after Christmas dinner, which we’re forcing down until the new year. Some of the food may even get thrown away in the end. Perhaps try to work out exactly how much you’ll really need, to cut back on waste.
A Console is Not Just for Christmas…
Now that we’ve discussed saving money, we can talk about specific bargains! Think of a new gaming console as an investment. It may come with a fairly high upfront cost, but you’re essentially buying entertainment that will last for years to come. If even one game gets you hooked, the hours of fun will just keep adding up! So what are the main games consoles and devices currently on the market?
Average Cost: £350
With a Nintendo Switch, you can enjoy the home console gaming experience without even needing a TV. Enjoy games anywhere, anytime and with anyone! The Switch appeals to people of all ages, and has a number of exclusive games you can only play with this platform.
Average Cost: £300
The Xbox One S is more compact than previous models, and comes with plenty of exciting new features. These include faster loading times, graphics in 4K, and a textured grip on the controller to make game play easier. The Xbox One S also has a 1Tb internal hard drive, so you can store more data than ever before.
Average Cost: £430
Like the Xbox One S, the Playstation 4 Pro offers an enhanced 4K experience – the graphics will be sharper and more realistic, colours are more vivid, and you’ll get much smoother frame rates. The Playstation 4 Pro is also compatible with all other Playstation 4 games, so you don’t need to replace all your old favourites.
Average Cost: £400
Looking for something a bit more out there? Why not try this incredible virtual reality headset from Oculus. The Oculus Rift S lets you play hundreds of games and exclusives, and there are loads more on the way. Your hand movements and gestures will be transported directly into the game, so it really will feel like you’re taking part in the action.
Average Cost: £580
Not everyone wants to play video games on a console – for those people who prefer to stick with a gaming PC, this bundle from Fierce comes highly recommended. Created by gamers with over twenty years of computer building expertise, this desktop comes with features including a Super-Fast 4GHz Quad-Core AMD Ryzen 3 3200G Processor, a 1TB Hard Drive and AMD Radeon Vega 8 Integrated Graphics.
Christmas is All About Giving
Whether it’s a gift for a loved one, or perhaps a present for yourself (we won’t tell anyone), now could be the ideal time to invest in a new console or bit of gaming kit.
A lot of retailers are offering great Christmas deals at the moment, or perhaps if you’re not worried about it arriving in time for Christmas, you can wait for the January sales. Just don’t wait too long – even Amazon is selling out on a lot of the consoles we’ve listed, they’re so popular! This is true of the Nintendo Switch in particular – with the hype around games like Animal Crossing: New Horizons refusing to die out, it may well be a race to get your hands on a Switch!
Most Britons won’t have managed to save up a lot of money this year due to furlough, but that doesn’t mean you can’t afford a new gaming device. Some sellers even offer the option of paying in monthly instalments, to spread the cost. And if you can’t pay for the console in monthly payments, you can always take out a loan to buy it now, and then repay the loan in instalments.
My Financial Broker offers a loan finding service with a difference, we have carefully designed our application form to help us get you a loan that’s right for you, Christmas doesn’t have to be stressful, nor does taking out a loan, help us to help you.