With the festive season around the corner and the cost of living crisis not going anywhere, we’re exploring ideas on how you can save money and look after your own well-being as you go.

Here are some of our festive tips to ensure you're spending smartly this Christmas.
Budget: Budgeting is our top tip for being money-smart this winter. It’s hard but try making a budgeting plan and sticking to it. Do you really need that takeaway coffee, or could you make it at home? Avoid grabbing those to-go coffees!
Be aware: It’s so important to be conscious of your limits over Christmas. Giving Gifts is deep-rooted in our nature, but it is crucial to be mindful of overspending as you can get into a lot of debt over the festive period. Be decisive on gifts, don’t buy for the sake of it and if you’re struggling financially, don’t feel the need to overspend. Tell your loved ones your plan to spend a set amount and be strict. You may wish to only buy for children or specific people if you are struggling to budget – this is fine too!
Get creative with gifts over the festive period: Channel that inner creativity and boost your mental health at the same time! Instead of purchasing expensive gifts, why not make your own? Think, chocolate slabs and jars of salted caramel! Decadent and much more cost-effective than the newest pair of trainers!
Try ‘Secret Santa’ with your loved ones: Maybe you’re not that creative, or you just don’t have time to stir sugar into caramel all night. That’s ok -  try a ‘Secret Santa’ stake with your family or friends to keep costs down. You can even set a spending limit per gift
Plan, plan, plan: Never window shop for gifts. Write a list, stick to it, and this should avoid overspending. It will also mean you won’t need as much time shopping, win, win all around!
Unsubscribe: If you find yourself getting lured in by your favourite shop, offering you the hottest discounts on their apps or in your inbox – unsubscribe!  Avoid the temptation and save yourself money.
Buy and freeze your food ahead of time: Everyone knows that festive specials are not necessarily kind to our wallets, so try to be early when buying your turkey, or nut roast this year. This tip requires freezer space!
Never shop when you’re hungry: The budget and list that you’ve prepared will likely go straight out of the window if you don’t ensure you’re fed and watered before hitting the shops. This is scientifically proven – Google it!
Buy little bits weekly rather than spending all at once: Nothing is more overwhelming than realising you’ve picked up one too many tins of festive chocolates and now you don’t have enough to cover your shop in your account. Buying a couple of bits here and there – and ensuring to keep track – can make things much more manageable
Check for discount codes and price comparison: Check out price comparison sites and discount codes before you buy. Spending just a few minutes doing this before hitting pay, can be worth it
GET SUPPORT IF YOU NEED IT – Christmas can be a wonderful occasion, but it can also be a huge financial strain. There’re several organisations that can help if you’re already in debt or struggling to make ends meet ahead of Christmas.
 At  Electrical Industries Charity, we're here to listen. If you’re feeling like you need support, call our helpline: 0800 652 1618 or via our email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.