Christmas Vibes

3 Alternatives To Traditional Christmas Saving Schemes

Christmas is, no doubt, an incredibly expensive time of the year. Getting to December and having no money saved for all your Christmas presents, food and socialising can put a downer on the festive period. Many people choose to build up a Christmas savings pot throughout the year using a savings scheme. These are designed to help you put money away regularly throughout the year and leave you with a nice reserve to cover your festive spending.

However, there is uncertainty surrounding the stability of Christmas saving schemes, and so, in this post  we explore some other ways for you to save for Christmas this year.

Couple looking at laptop

1. Savings accounts

Banks and building societies have a wide selection of savings accounts, including regular savers, e-savers, and ISAs. Simply putting a bit of money into one of these every month is a great way to save for Christmas. Which is best for you depends on your personal situation and savings goals.

Regular Savings Accounts

Regular savings accounts work in the same way as bank accounts and are easily accessible. These accounts are ideal for individuals who want to save regularly over a shorter period of time and take advantage of high interest rates, even without a lump sum to deposit. Most regular savings accounts have a minimum balance of £1 at the time of opening. You’ll need to ensure this pound stays in the account at the very least to keep it open! However, some will require a monthly minimum saving deposit.


E-savers are very similar to regular savers, except they only appear online. They are therefore less accessible as you do not get a card for these and can only transfer money in and out of them by using your online banking. You can also set up a standing order from your current account to your savings account so that the money transfers automatically, meaning you don’t have to remember to move the money each month. E-savers sometimes have an upper monthly savings limit, so make sure you check this before applying.

Cash ISAs

Cash ISAs can be a great option for saving large amounts of money long term, as you can save up to £15,240 per year in this type of account. They usually have a higher interest rate than other types of savings accounts. All the interest gained is tax-free, meaning you’ll get more money just by storing your savings in there. The Money Helper says that in a cash ISA, ‘Your original savings are protected’ and that ‘Cash you put into UK banks or building societies (that are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority) is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)’.

Related: 4 Money Saving Tips For A Rainy Day

If you’re the type of person who is very easily tempted into spending your savings, you can choose a fixed term ISA. You must wait a certain amount of time before withdrawing the money from these ISAs.  It would be a good idea to set the date for the time you’ll be buying your Christmas shopping. That way you won’t be able to spend it early!

Woman paying at checkout

2. Supermarket saving schemes

You may not have realised it, but your local supermarket could be a good place to save your money. Many now offer cards which allow you to save each time you shop, making saving regularly easier and more achievable. You could simply round your entire spend up to the nearest £10, and the pounds add up rapidly.

In most cases, the amount you want to save has no limits, so you can top it up with as much as you can afford week to week. Then, at the end of the year, simply use the balance on your card to get all your supermarket shopping. You might be surprised at how much you’ve managed to save by December!

Some supermarkets also offer money-saving coupons and special offers to customers who use their savings schemes. The Money Helper says ‘You may be able to take out more than one saver card and take advantage of multiple bonuses’. By being savvy, you could end up saving lots. Especially if you tend to visit more than one supermarket for different things.

Saving for 2017

Related: Essential Money Hacks To Boost Your Savings

3. Piggy bank

Whilst you’re probably thinking piggy banks are just a place for children to store their pocket money, they can also be a great way for you to save your extra cash, too. Every penny counts, so going old-school could be a great solution for you. If you saved £5 every week for the next 10 months, you would have an extra £200 to spend!

To ensure you aren’t tempted to dip into your stash, buy a piggy bank that can only be opened by smashing it. That way, you won’t be able to ‘borrow’ from the savings and will be forced to wait until you’re ready to use the money for Christmas. You could even get your children involved or buy them their own piggy bank so they can save for family presents. This is a great way to introduce them to money saving early on.

Seeing the results of your hard work saving all year can be very satisfying – The perfect “pick me up” you’ll need in the middle of the cold winter months!

For more view our range of budget living blog posts.