I am struggling a lot more than I thought I would be this year trying to organise myself for Christmas. I find myself cutting back on energy and other expenditure to afford other things as it is – and won’t be able to buy as many gifts this year. Can you offer any tips or advice?

Many of us are finding ourselves in the same boat this year, cutting back on day-to-day expenditure, and trying to keep an eye on what is going out.

This is especially true in the lead up to Christmas, with many of our budgets stretched as it is. Planning, and only spending what we can means that we will be able to start the new year in as best a position as possible.

Advice Direct Scotland have put together our top tips for saving money this Festive Season.

Tip 1 – You don’t need to spend money to enjoy yourself

It is important to remember that you do not always need to spend money to enjoy yourself. There are many free events out there for adults and kids alike.

Check with local community groups, attractions, museums, and public libraries to see what is going on in your area. Very often, there are notifications of events shared through social media channels, and this can be a good place to start.

Tip 2 – Plan meals in advance when you can / Tip 3 – Write a shopping list








In terms of food shopping, sitting down and planning meals in advance, and then writing a shopping list accordingly can be a good idea.

Shopping around can also help to keep costs down and having a list can keep us focussed on what we need to buy.

Tip 4 – Coupons & Shopping Loyalty ‘Clubs’

Many retailers, especially the larger supermarkets offer coupons and loyalty ‘clubs’ for deals, allowing us to get money off in store, and collect points towards future purchases.

With different options available, including bonus points for specific items and ‘double points’ offers, we can quickly build up vouchers and coupons to spend.

Tip 5 – Check for perks you already have

Additionally, many mobile phone contracts, bank accounts, and other customer loyalty schemes offer extras, including discounts with high street retailers.

It is worth looking into perks available on accounts you already have, to see if there are offers, discounts, or freebies available.

Tip 6 – Speaking of subscriptions

This is also a good time to look at the subscriptions we have, such as music and fitness apps; TV networks; and any other things we pay for regularly and do not make full use of. We can save money by cancelling anything we don’t need.

Additional Sources of Support

There are additional sources of support out there if you are struggling with costs.

The Scottish Government’s Home Heating Support Fund seeks to provide financial relief to energy consumers who are experiencing significant financial hardship and strives to provide this support to households regardless of the fuel or payment method used.

You can find more about the fund by visiting the website at, where you can also make an application, provided you have received energy and / or debt advice from an accredited agency. Advice Direct Scotland can make an application on your behalf, as well as check your entitlement to additional benefits. advisers are available on 0808 800 9060 (Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm), or by visiting

They can also check your entitlement to benefits, and other sources of support. You can also use the benefits calculator on the website if you would prefer to check this for yourself.

Advice Direct Scotland is running our ‘Countdown to Christmas’ campaign through the festive season. This is focusing on the things we can do to save money this festive season. For more information, visit