For millions, the debt hangover from the Christmas blow-out brings on a miserable January. It’s not just cold and grey but in the red too. So how can we prevent the New Year blues next time?
Why does Christmas seem miles off until it’s upon us? We know it’s coming, so why not plan ahead? There are plenty of ways to do it. Of course, there’s the simplest idea of all, stashing cash in a jar. We might want to open a savings account. Good plan. Keeps money safe but it might not grow as interest rates are so low right now.
So our friends at SkintDad have been checking out the check-outs and found some canny schemes down the supermarket aisles. (SkintDad’s full run-down can be found here)
Supermarket Saving Clubs can be a great way to keep your cash safe until the festive season. Most make it as simple as adding a Mars bar to your shopping. Just ask the cashier to top up your savings at the till. For some, you, or someone more computer-savvy, may need to register your card online.
Iceland’s Bonus Card has some good perks. Swipe the card at least once a month and enter a draw to win the cost of one of your shops. You receive money off coupons on your receipt and free delivery when you spend £20. Save directly onto your card by asking the cashier to add it when you pay and for each £25, a £1 reward bonus (4%) is added within 48 hours.
Put up to £144 onto each card and earn up to £6 on top (a bonus of 4.17%). You can save on as many cards as you want. Register online to protect your balance but add money at the checkout. Cards are valid for up to two years and can be redeemed on food, clothes and fun stuff in-store.
With Tesco Christmas Savers, you opt to collect all your Clubcard points in November. You get a massive 6 per cent bonus if you top up at the checkout before October so your annual batch of vouchers, including the bonus, arrive in November. Clubcard vouchers can be worth 4 times their face value if you use Clubcard Partners.
Did you know the Co-op still run a Savings Stamp scheme? Collect them at £1 each through the year in as many books as you want and for each one with £48 of stamps you will be given £2 extra as a bonus (4.1% extra) in December. Ask for a Savings Stamp book in store. These savings are government protected.
Morrisons offers Savers Stamps worth £1 that you add to your savings card. Bonuses are a little lower with each £49 earning £1 (2%) and you can only save up to £100 on each card, although you could take out more than one. You can redeem the savings any time but the bonus will only be awarded in November or December.
The Wilko Saver Card offers up to 6 per cent in bonuses by the time your savings reach £99, with your first £1 bonus starting once you’ve stashed £24. You can get multiple cards but the maximum you can save on each is £102. Each card is only valid for 12 months, though, so use it or lose it.