Top Christmas Money Saving Hacks from the RIFT Team
02nd November 2021
When it comes to money saving ideas for Christmas gifts, it’s the personal touch that counts. That’s why we took a quick stroll through the office to gather up some of the RIFT family’s personal tips. Here’s what they came up with:
1) Gemma says, “Use cash when you can.”
It’s super-easy to spend more than you’ve got these days. I mean, everyone’s trying to convince you to fork over your money, so there’s a lot of pressure to splash out. Worse still, you can buy with a swipe of a card or a tap on a screen, so keeping track of your total spend can be a pain.
One trick I’ve found is to limit myself to spending only cash. Sticking to what you’ve got in your pocket is a sure-fire way of keeping your shopping under control. It sounds a bit stone-age, I know – but it works.
If you've taken part in our surveys, research or customer satisifaction panels you might have spoken to Gemma.
2) Ben says, “If you see it on sale now, don’t wait until Christmas Eve to buy it.”
This probably sounds a bit obvious, but it’s worth keeping in mind. When you’re planning out your Christmas gift spending, you’ve got to remember that prices can change a lot between now and December. Right now, there are quite a few problems in “supply chains” – which basically means some stuff might get harder to find the longer you wait.
Naturally, you ought to be shopping around for most things anyway, but it’s doubly important to do it in the months before Christmas. There are loads of things that’ll drop in price during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, for one thing. Miss your chance and you’ll be kicking yourself when the prices explode just before Christmas.
Oh – and make sure the discounts are all they’re cracked up to be, too. I’ve seen many “unmissable bargains” that were actually basically the same as the normal price.
Ben works in our Contact Centre. If you've called us for help with your first refund or your 20th it could have been Ben that got you sorted.
3) Liam says, “Grab those discounted gift cards.”
If there’s one thing that really stresses me out at Christmas, it’s worrying over getting exactly the right present for everyone. Honestly, I’ve fallen back on gift cards more often than I’d care to admit.
The thing is, you can quite often get those cards and vouchers at a decent discount if you look around. I’ve found everything from PlayStation Wallet top-ups to Google Play cards at as much as 15% off, just by doing a quick search online.
A quick word of warning, though. When you’re buying gift cards, remember to check their expiry dates, and be aware that retailers can potentially go under before people have a chance to use their cards.
Liam spends his days at RIFT chasing up payments from HMRC to our customers. He's always on the case for you.
4) Dean says, “Check out the videogame code sites.”
My kids (not to mention my partner) love their video games. That used to mean I got dragged round the high street looking for specific titles for specific consoles and paying through the nose for them. These days, though, they’re all available as downloads – and there are sites that make buying them a lot less painful.
Basically, instead of a disc, you’re buying a code that you can use on Steam or one of the other online storefronts. The codes can be “gifted” to anyone, which is really convenient. Depending on where you look, you can get even new games at a hefty discount, or find customisable bundles of several games at once for even bigger savings.
Dean works on making our systems work better for you. You might also have heard him on the radio earlier this year.
5) Jan says, “If you’ve got to borrow, go for 0%.”
It’s easy to slip into debt over Christmas, and there are loads of things that we really don’t realise are “borrowing”. Credit cards are a great example. We tend to think of them as cash, but they’re actually one of the most expensive debts you can run up. The trick is to do your spending on a card that’s got a 0% interest rate. You can usually find one if you hunt around a bit. Then – and this is the important bit – make sure you pay it off before the 0% period ends and the interest starts stacking up.
Jan is our chairperson. She founded RIFT back in 1999 to make sure working people weren't missing out on what's theirs - and she's still looking out for you today!
So, any festive money saving hacks of your own to add? Join the conversation on our Facebook page. While you’re at it, check out our blog about making every pound count this Christmas for more ideas.
If you've not claimed your tax refund yet then check what you're owed now. The average first refund is around £2.5 - £3k. Just think what a difference that could make to your Christmas.