Money Saving
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Ideas To Help You Save For Christmas

Saving for Christmas for most people starts in January. Christmas can be one of the most stressful times of year so it's sensible for us to get a head start and start preparing for Christmas as early as now. The January sales is a great place to start as you can get some amazing bargains on gifts, decorations or homeware that you can put away in preparation for Christmas. Every year I say I will start saving for Christmas as soon as possible and I never do. This year I have decided I am going to start saving for Christmas now and I have a few ideas on how to help you save for Christmas if you want to start now too. 

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1p Challenge
The 1p challenge is probably the most known saving scheme as is quite a popular choice. It's very simple to follow and if done correctly by Christmas you will have over £600 in your saving pot. 

So here's how it works

On 1st January you put 1p in to a savings jar
On 2nd January you put 2p in to a savings jar
On 3rd January you put 3p in to a savings jar
On 4th January you put 4p in to a savings jar
On 5th January you put 5p in to a savings jar
On 6th January you put 6p in to a savings jar
On 7th January you put 7p in to a savings jar
and so on adding 1p on to your total each day. 

By the end of this challenge you will have saved well over £600 in time for Christmas. 

This challenge can be done in reverse if you wanted to save larger amounts at the beginning on the year.

On 1st January you put £3.65 in to a savings jar
On 2nd January you put £3.64 in to a savings jar
On 3rd January you put £3.63 in to a savings jar
On 4th January you put £3.62 in to a savings jar
On 5th January you put £3.61 in to a savings jar
On 6th January you put £3.60 in to a savings jar
On 7th January you put £3.59 in to a savings jar
and so on until Christmas. 

It's a simple saving challenge which would certainly give you a head start towards your Christmas Spends. 

The 52 Week Challenge
This idea is similar to to the 1p challenge however you don't have to remember to add your pennies to your savings jar each week you add each week and it's a pound challenge rather than a penny challenge so by Christmas you will have saved over £1300.

So here's how it works

Week one add £1 to your savings jar
Week two add £2 to your savings jar 
Week three add £3 to your savings jar
Week four add £4 to your savings jar

By the end of the month you will have saved £10 now this won't seem much but it soon mounts up as you head in to months 6,7,8 and finally in to December when your pot will have well over £1000 in it. 

You can also do this challenge in reverse too

Week one add £52 to your savings jar
Week two add £51 to your savings jar
Week three add £50 to your savings jar
Week four add £49 to your savings jar

Doing this challenge in reverse means that at the end of the month you will have £202 in your pot. 

Save With Your Supermarket
Asda offer a savings reward card which is perfect if you shop at their store. The cards are usually found in store or you can order one online. Every time you shop you can add an amount to your savings card. You have full control so can add as much or as little as you like and as often as you want. The amount you save on your card can be put towards your shopping in store, online and also on George online.

At the end of the year they usually offer a small reward to say thank you for saving with them each year.  These rewards were for 2021 but assume they will be similar for 2022. I will update when the 2022 rewards have been confirmed.  

Savings on card £30 - £79
Bonus reward £1

Savings on card £80 - £129
Bonus reward £3

Savings on card £130 - £179
Bonus Reward £6

Savings on card £180 - £229
Bonus Reward £9

Savings on card £230 - £279
Bonus Reward £12

Savings on card £280+
Bonus Reward £15

If you are a regular shopper at Tesco then you can will know that Tesco offer a reward scheme in the form of Tesco Club Card Points. These points are converted in to vouchers throughout the year and are a great way to save to help towards your Christmas food shop. 

You could also buy gift cards throughout the year which are usually by the checkouts to save for Christmas. Unfortunately Tesco gift cards can only be loaded once so they cannot be topped up so not as easy as the Asda Christmas Saving card but still worth it if Tesco is your regular supermarket. 

supermarket trolley filled with money

Money Saving / Cash Back Apps
We have been using money saving apps now for quite a few years and the amount of cash back we earn really does build up. This can be left in the app or you can withdraw and add to your saving jars. There are so many money saving and cash back apps out there but these are a few of our favourites. 

Checkout Smart
Checkout Smart is a cash back app that offers you cash back on certain products when bought at certain stores. 

Every day new offers are loaded and the more you use it the more the offers refresh. All you need to do is..

Check the app each day for offers
Choose which offers you want to redeem
Head to the supermarket and buy the products
After purchasing take a photograph of your receipt
Await confirmation of your cash back

Once your cash back has been confirmed it will go on to your balance. You can cash out your balance at any time however no fee will be charged if your balance goes above £20.00. Cash back can be paid to your bank via BACS or PayPal.

The amount of cash back on products does vary however sometimes the app offers you the chance to receive 100% cash back making it completely free. 

Shopmium is very similar to Checkout Smart. It offers you cash back on certain products and usually refreshes every 1 to 2 days with new offers. 

To use Shopmium all you need to do is

Check the app each day for offers
Choose which offers you want to redeem
Head to the supermarket and buy the products
After purchasing take a photograph of your receipt
Await confirmation of your cash back

Shopmium doesn't give you the option to save up your cash back within the app, it is sent directly to your chosen payment method once validated. 

There is a reward scheme with Shopmium called Shopmium club. It gives you the option to upgrade to Gold level free of charge by completing easy steps. 

Share your referral code
Every member has a refer a friend code that not only benefits you but your friend too. If you friend signs up using your code ( KFYYKYGQ - This is mine) your friend will receive a free gift. At the moment it's a tube of Pringles. You as the referrer will also get a reward of £3 which will go as credit against future cash back offers. 

Redeem Offers
Submit at least 10 cash backs to reach Gold level then submit at least 1 per month to maintain in the Gold level. 

There are lots of benefits to being in Gold level including
Exclusive challenges
Previews of offers before they go live
Special gift on your birthday
Momentarily reserved offers

Quidco is an online cash back app that offers great rates of cash back when shopping online. 

There are hundreds of retailers including well known stores such as Argos, B&Q, H Samuel this list is huge. You can also earn cash back on holidays such as TUI, Easyjet, It's also great to earn extra cash back when switching telecom, gas, electricity providers. There is so many options to earn. 

Refer a Friend Scheme
Quidco offer a refer a friend scheme that unlocks a bonus of £10 for your friend once they have signed up and had at least £5 cash back confirmed on to their account. As a referrer you will be notified once someone signs up using your referral link or your referral code (6857695 - this is mine) you will then be credited with £30 cash back.

We are just a few pounds shy of £600 savings since we started. Cash out is available via PayPal or bank transfer. You also have the options to buy vouchers with your cash back instead of taking cash. The vouchers are available with an added % bonus on top and differ depending on the store.

For example if you had £20 to cash out you can 
Take £20 cash
Buy a voucher for Amazon with an added 2% on top 
Buy a voucher for JD Sports with an added 10% on top
There are plenty of vouchers available and the added bonus ranges from 2 - 25% extra. 

If you found this post useful there are a few ways that you could say thanks and support Playdays and Runways

Are you looking forward to celebrating any of the days above? Leave us a comment below and let us know. 

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Useful Money Lessons for Kids in Everyday Life | AD

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Disclosure - This is collaborative post
piles of coins with a tree growing out of themMany grown adults become poor money managers largely because they mimicked the behaviour of their parents and lacked any sound teachings about money. Even in our school systems, while mathematics has a strong focus, it’s usually not given a practical basis by balancing a cheque book, learning to use a smartphone app on personal finance, or understanding a bank statement.  To set your child or children up for success, here are a few useful money lessons.

Earned Money, Not Pocket Money
Let your kids learn that they do not rely on handouts. Instead, let them perform small chores around the house. That might be tidying up their room for the younger kids and mowing the lawn and cutting the shrubs for the teenagers. Make sure they perform these chores safely, and make the earned money proportional to both their efforts and their age.

Encourage Kids to Save
Having them set aside a percentage of what they earn through their chores teaches them about:
The usefulness of percentages
The value of savings
Delayed gratification

Delayed gratification is particularly important. They may wish to save up for a special toy or a bicycle, in which case they’ll need to save part of their pocket money and put off some other purchases to do so. This will be difficult at first, but it will make them want the item they’re saving for even more.

Teach About Budgets
Budgets are particularly important. They help balance the income with the expenses to avoid overspending.

childs hands opened holding coinsBudgeting and Saving Allow for Fun Purchases
Having a sensible budget and keeping spending in check allows a person to save money. When wanting large purchases like a trip away, a car, or a home, the ability to manage a budget and save from their income will be useful life lessons.

Give Each Child Responsibility for Some of the Family Budget
Let your children each have responsibility for small segments of the family budget. For younger children, that could be vegetable or fruit shopping. Set them up with a budget and the instruction to purchase as much as possible within that budget. Then walk them through the process.
With older children, expand the responsibility little by little and give them exposure to different types of spending and different decisions that need to be made.

Include the Kid(s) in the Money Decision Process
When they’re old enough to compare one price to another, give them the chance to look at how you decide about insurance.

Explain that you purchase insurance to protect against damage to the house, the car, and other valuable things. For a relatively small amount, the insurance will cover a reasonable amount of the value should something go wrong. Once this is done, let them compare insurance to see what you should decide to do.

Also, help them to understand that a trustworthy brand is good and to not always choose the cheapest price. A strong company matters too, so the insurance company pays out.

Many parents make the mistake of treating money as a taboo subject never to be spoken about. However, this leaves each child with an at arm’s length understanding of financial matters which stands them in poor stead for their future. Instead, build their knowledge over the years, so they’re comfortable and knowledgeable about the subject of money.

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AD | 5 Money Saving Tips

Disclosure - This is a paid post in collaboration with Cashlady

We have just returned from two weeks at Walt Disney World in Florida and already I am planning our next holiday. I am one of those people that starts looking at deals for their next trip before we even get home. The reality is that we could never afford to head back there straight away as it is such an expensive holiday but it won't stop me planning ways to make some extra cash to put in our holiday fund pot.
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The Costs Of Married Life

Last weekend we were guests at a family wedding and it was a really lovely day. We know how much planning had gone in to making it the perfect day. It's took years, some stress, quite a few sleepless nights and lots of money. The planning for a wedding begins with an engagement ring and usually ends after the vows. Now that the day is over it's time to start life as a married couple. Most will go on a honeymoon but some will start planning their new life and then time to save money starts again.
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Ways To Keep The Costs Down

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Around this time of year I start thinking about cutting down on our spends in preparation for Christmas. I know it is still 6 months away but I feel once the school Summer holidays start, Christmas creeps up very fast and I like to be prepared and sure that we have enough money to enjoy Christmas. There is also a time every year when we seem to have lots of unexpected expenses that like to crop up at once. So now is the time for us to try and keep our spending to a minimum, here are some tips to keeping the costs down.
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