Mum who saved £25,000 in a ‘no-buy’ year, reveals how you can save thousands this Christmas without sacrificing a thing

A MUM who saved £25,000 after doing a ‘no-buy’ year has revealed how you can save thousands this Christmas.

Lara Joanna Jarvis, who is known for her budgeting tips and tricks, sharing them on her YouTube channel, committed to a “no buy” year in 2019, only spending money on essential purchases.

Lara Joanna Jarvis saved £25,000 after ditching luxuries for a year

And with husband Stuart also taking part the pair were able to save £25,000 to put towards their first home together, so it’s safe to say that she knows a thing or two about saving money without missing out.

Speaking exclusively to Fabulous, Lara said: “It’s really important not to get into debt just for that one day, there are so many things you can do to make Christmas magical without impacting your finances.”

Here Lara shares her top ten money-saving tips for the festive season – and you won’t have to sacrifice a thing.

Limit your gifting

The mum-of-two recommends limiting your gifts to children only

“When it comes to gifts we often just buy for the children rather than the adults of the family.

“For us it’s about making it magical for the children and we’re happy to forgo a gift in order for that to happen.

“If we are buying gifts as a couple, we gift each other things that we would need anyway that would be in our yearly budget so it’s not costing any extra money.

“When it comes to the family try a Secret Santa to limit the number you’re buying for.”

Buy gifts in the boxing day sales…

“If you’re not seeing them on the big day. You may not be seeing a family member until New Year’s Eve and so that is a perfect way to shave a bit of money off their gift.

“If not – you can always pick up some more gifts for next year.”

Sticking to your budget is hugely important

Use your loyalty points

“Save up your loyalty points and use them.

“Boots and Tesco do a great loyalty scheme that you can put towards Christmas gifts.

“You might completely forget to check your Nectar points but you could find £80 in there and that will cover the cost of your food shop.”

Remember dinner isn’t a gift

“If you’re hosting, remember to ask people to bring a bottle or bring a dish. It will help you save time and while sharing the cost of dinner.

“Just be honest and tell people you are struggling and you need them to provide something – they will be happy to do it.”

Shop your budget

“The M&S adverts might be tempting but there’s lots of places that offer very affordable luxury dinner options such as Aldi or Lidl.

Lara recommends reinventing the decorations that you already have, rather than buying new

“These discount supermarkets will often be the same quality as a premium price at a much lower cost so be sure to shop around before splashing out.”

DIY your Christmas decs

“Every year social media is covered with different themes and trends but you don’t have to buy new decorations each year.

“It’s really easy to reinvent your own decorations. For example if you like the more flocked look of white and silver you can spray your decorations with flocking spray.

“You can also paint and spray existing baubles to match the colour scheme that you want.

Lara says that keeping track of everything is imperative

“You can try bringing nature in your home by simply using a tree branch to hang baubles – but you need to make sure you ask permission from the land owner.

“Every year I make my own wreath using moss and holly from the garden. You could try this or upcycle ones you’ve found in the charity shop.”

Entertain the kids on the cheap

“Family activities don’t have to cost a fortune this Christmas.

“Making a paper garland is an afternoon craft for a child but also leaves you with free decorations.

“Take the children to see Christmas lights – they absolutely love that and it’s completely free.

“Make memories over spending money.

“I know it sounds cliche but especially after this year, that is really what it’s about, it’s not about the things, it’s about the people in our lives.”

Lara's New Year spending habits

  • Ditch impulse purchases – always sit on a purchase for 30 days, you will never still want it
  • Take a food inventory before you do your shop – you probably already have it
  • Shop your wardrobe – You have plenty to wear in your wardrobe 
  • Meal plan – Meal plan, meal plan, meal plan!

Be wary of deals

“Remember that a deal is only a deal if you needed it in the first place.

“Don’t get sucked into money-off offers if it wasn’t money you wanted to spend to begin with.”

Start planning for 2021 in January

“It may sound early but too often Christmas gets left to the last minute and people begin to panic,

“Ring in 2021 by shopping the Christmas sales for next year’s gifts and start putting money aside and plan your budget.

“Spreading that cost over the year makes it much less overwhelming in December.”

And then keep an eye out for sales throughout the year

“For example, the Sainsbury’s toy sale is great.

“It happens around September time and it’s great for kids’ gifts if you have the storage.

“Look out for 2 for 1 deals so you can tick off a few people on your list for less.”

For more information on money saving tips and home life you can follow Lara on Instagram or YouTube, as well as checking out her blogs for further details at larajoannajarvis.com

In other money-saving ideas, this DIY fan made stunning Disney wreaths and saved herself £200.

And a Mum makes amazing Christmas garland for just £12 using bargains from Lidl.

Plus, thrifty mums share their tips for a cut-price Christmas including how to save thousands on presents & get food for cheap.

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