Tips & Tricks

Debt-free Christmas challenges

Emma Nunes-Vaz
January 16, 2024

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…Christmas! Get your stockings ready because we are in a festive mood. Even better, we’ve curated some of the most popular Christmas-themed savings challenges so continue reading and see which challenge tickles your fancy!

1. £1 festive song challenge

If you are a lover of ‘Silent Night’ or ‘Santa Claus is coming to town’ then this one is for you. We challenge you to put £1 into your Christmas pot (or £5 if you fancy an even bigger challenge) every time you are out of the house and hear a festive-themed song. Unless you live in the middle of nowhere or in Scroogeville, you are bound to hear AT LEAST a few a week. Not only will this allow you to build up a pot quickly, but it’s also a fun way to listen out for some Christmas music.

2. DIY gift challenge

Nothing says effort like a handmade gift and who doesn’t love a bit of DIY? Challenge yourself to only gift handmade presents this year, not only is this a cheaper alternative, but it also forces you to get your creative Christmas elf hat on and make some meaningful gifts for your nearest and dearest. You’ll be surprised at how grateful your friends and family will be once they open it on Christmas day.

3. Cash-only Christmas challenge

If you were prepared this year and started saving money into a pot for Christmas presents early, withdraw that money and use that as your budget. Having the cash in hand ensures you are only spending what you have and prevents any sort of overspending (which is easily done - trust us!)

4. Reverse advent calendar challenge

This might sound like a weird challenge but bear with us. All you need to do is fill a box with 25 envelopes containing different amounts of money (you can choose the totals). Every day take one out and spend the money on something Christmas-related (e.g. a gift, decoration, or food). Start with the smallest amount & work your way up. However, if some days you don’t need to spend the money on anything in particular, put that money in a separate pot in case you need any last-minute Christmas bits and bobs on the big day!

5. Christmas gift exchange challenge

If you’ve got an organised friendship group, this is a great way to spread the festive cheer whilst also ensuring you aren’t overspreading those costs. Appoint one person as the leader, ensuring everyone has a different name and is spending within the limit. Put everyone’s names into a hat (the more names, the better) and everyone has to pick one name out, they then purchase a gift for that person, and that person only. This means that everyone in your friendship group receives a present and there’s no pressure to fork out hundreds of pounds for each of your friends. 

To ensure everyone is on the same page (make sure one person doesn’t receive a pen whilst another receives a piece of designer clothing), you should all agree on a spending limit and make sure no one goes over it and no Scrooge’s go under it. If you want to be extra thorough so that people don’t buy anything last minute, implement a spending range. For example, £10-25.