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Shoppers feeling the Christmas pinch

November 1, 2015

finance

Image via Mike Knell

Both super markets and high street stores are reporting a surge in their Christmas saving schemes. The idea is that you’re supposed to save up all year then the store adds up to a 10% bonus. The schemes vary from store to store with some only allowing you to redeem your savings or stamps at set times and others will let you spend any time.  Obviously the real advantage to these schemes is the bonus that you receive at the end, normally a month or 2 before Christmas.

This might sound all good and well but remember this isn’t the store being super generous. The store will earn interest on your money and eventually give you a bit back; it also ensures that the store has secured your custom. Some stores also require you to spend your entire saving in one lump or you’ll lose the rest – therefore you will need to do some careful Christmas planning.

The other very important factor to understand is that these schemes do not have protection like saving your money in a bank. There have been a few high profile examples of these companies going bust and savers losing everything. If you are looking to save a large amount of money over the entire year it’s probably best to save it in a saving account. If however you are looking to have a smaller amount of money over a shorter period of time the risk of a large supermarket going bust is much reduced. Just don’t lose your saving card!

If you are feeling the pinch this festive period then you could look into a Christmas saver scheme or think of cheaper ways of giving gifts. Handmade gifts are a great way to save money but also give a more meaningful present. Checkout channel 4 on Wednesday at 8pm for the new series of Kirsties’s Homemade Britain for some inspiration!

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  3. Queen cuts corners for Christmas
  4. How much does it cost to look glam this Christmas?
  5. Office of Fair Trading warn against using loan sharks this Christmas
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