52 Practical Ways to Save Money Around The Year – Chapter 11: November: Guy Fawkes Night to Black Friday; Making Savings in November.

Celebrate Guy Fawkes Night! Go out and see the fireworks and save money. Did you know you could get a headstart on shopping for Christmas gifts?

Take a look at ways you can save money in November by reading about:

  • Suggestion No. 1: Guy Fawkes Night on a budget – its origins; attending a fireworks display; a bonfire/fireworks at home; traditional food
  • Suggestion No. 2: Don’t spend a fortune on Christmas cards – origins of the custom; savings on cards; buying charity Christmas cards; alternatives to greetings cards
  • Suggestion No. 3: Reduce your spending on Christmas presents – budgeting; preparations & shopping early; how many presents to buy; buying for partners/children; avoiding unwanted presents; buying gifts online; alternatives to buying presents
  • Suggestion No. 4: Taking advantage of Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals – their origins; picking up bargains; research before you shop; precautions for shopping online
  • Conclusion

Payday loans net, payday UK loans provider, brings you this chapter on November, when we celebrate Guy Fawkes Night. By now, the Christmas lights have been turned on in all High Streets and shopping centres. We show how you can make a start on your preparations for Christmas. We turn our attention to two aspects of this unique holiday: Christmas cards and shopping for gifts. Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become increasingly popular in recent years, since being adopted from the US. We explain how to pick up real bargains on this long weekend of sales and what to avoid. We offer payday loans of between £200 to £2,000. However, we advise you how to save, so you should have no need to take out a payday loan to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night or Christmas.

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Suggestion No. 1:

Guy Fawkes Night on a Budget

Held every November 5th, Guy Fawkes Night (also known as Bonfire Night or Fireworks Night) celebrates the failure of the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. This was a conspiracy to kill King James I during the opening of Parliament. Guy Fawkes was one of the Catholic conspirators who were worried that a Protestant King would put into effect anti-Catholic legislation. Celebrations throughout the 17th and 18th century often had a strong anti-Catholic sentiment. During recent years, the festival has lost both its religious and political undertones.

Up until the 1970s, most Britons would celebrate Guy Fawkes Night at home with a bonfire and by letting off fireworks. However, it has become increasingly common for people to attend professional fireworks displays (often accompanied by music), organised by town councils. A glance at your local newspaper will let you know where the nearest fireworks display is to you. The main advantage is that entrance is free although you’ll have to pay for any food.  You could economise by watching the fireworks and then head off home for food you’ve prepared beforehand. This can be a savaing you can make to avoid needing the services of a payday loans direct lender.

Bonfire at Home

There is no reason why you shouldn’t light a fire in your garden. However, before Guy Fawkes Night, learn some basic safety measures. Make sure your fire is not too near any buildings, fences, trees or hedges. Never start the Guy Fawkes Night fire with an accelerant; keep young children away from the fire. Have a hose-pipe/buckets of water ready just in case. (For further guidelines, visit www.fireservice.co.uk).

No Guy Fawkes Night bonfire would be complete without a ‘guy’ to put on top. A guy is easy to make by stuffing old clothes with straw or old newspapers and drawing a face on a stuffed head (made of plain white material). In the past, children used to make guys about a week beforehand. They’d stand on street corners asking ‘A penny for the guy’; the money they raised would be used to buy fireworks.

Check that all the fireworks you buy conform to the British Safety Standards (with the kite-mark BS71114). Make sure they’re for domestic use and follow all the safety precautions.  If you have young children or pets, you may decide not to have any fireworks.  If so, why not buy some sparklers instead?

Traditionally, Guy Fawkes Night is warm, filling food to suit a cold autumn evening, ideally food which you can cook in the bonfire. Baked potatoes wrapped in foil is a good example. You might want to serve them simply and cheaply with salt and butter.  Alternatively, you could use up leftovers from your fridge such as bolognese sauce, grated cheese/sliced meats, etc. You can toast sausages or marshmallows in the flames. Alternatively, how about you prepare an economical soup from vegetables, and serve it in polystyrene cups? The traditional dessert for this day is parkin, a sticky gingerbread made from oatmeal, ginger, treacle and syrup. Other areas in Britain serve toffee apples.

Suggestion No. 2:

Christmas Cards

Although we think of the sending and receiving of Christmas cards as an integral part of our preparations in the lead-up to the festivities, would you believe that the first person sent a Christmas card no earlier than 1843? John Horsley designed the card, as recommended by his friend, Sir Henry Cole and sold them for (then) extortionate price of 1 shilling (5p). Cole was employed by the Post Office and had started the Penny Post 3 years earlier; his card was intended to encourage people to buy these penny stamps and so must have been one of the first marketing campaigns!

Nearly 200 years later, people sent an estimated 1 billion Christmas cards in 2016 at the cost of £384 million (figures from the Greetings Card Association). One of the easiest ways to economise on Christmas card spending is to go through your address book and ask yourself if you need to send so many cards. It isn’t only a question of paying for the cards but also paying for the postage too. As regards postage, you can make further savings if you send the cards by 2nd class post instead of 1st. Not only do 90% of 2nd class letters arrive within three days but if you’re ready to send them off by the end of November, you’ll have no worries about them not arriving in time for Christmas.

Have you thought about making home-made cards? There are plenty of ideas online with creative designs. You’d need the minimum of stationery supplies – just some coloured card and glue. You could cut up last year’s Christmas cards to glue on the front. If you have children, this is a project they’d be more than happy to join and help you. You’ll be able to make your cards and make it until payday.

Should you Buy Charity Christmas Cards?

According to CAT (Charities’ Advisory Trust), only 10-20% of the proceeds from so-called charity cards sold on the High Streetreach the charity concerned. If you wish to combine your purchase of Christmas cards with a charitable donation, it’s much better to buy from charity shops.  Alternatively, you could download cards from the charity’s website and make a donation.

Many other websites have free Christmas cards which you can download, print and then send.  You could also send a Christmas card as an email attachment. Not only are they cheaper (and in some cases, free) but you know that they are eco-friendly. Some people dislike the idea of sending e-cards as they find them impersonal. In fact, in a survey by the Royal Mail, 72% of Britons preferred a card to an electronic equivalent. If you agree, you could make a point of sending a personalised message by email, or you could send e-cards to acquaintances and save the cards themselves for close family and friends.

Suggestion No. 3: 

Christmas Gifts

With its reminder of the gifts brought by the three kings to Jesus, present-giving is often one of the things that people mean when they complain about Christmas being commercialised. Figures for 2016 show that Britons spent an average of £474 on presents and bought an average of 17 gifts. Of course, it’s the season of giving, and you want to show your family and friends how much you care but how can you cut down on the amount you spend at this time? Let’s look at some ways.

It’s very tempting to overspend at Christmas and console ourselves with the fact that “It’s only once a year” However, this attitude can have repercussions that affect your budget well into the New Year. According to the charity, National Debtline, 1/3 of shoppers use their credit cards to make their purchases while in 2016, £16.5 million was spent using credit and loans leaving 1 in 10 Britons stressed about money over the festive season. One way to prevent this happening to you is to plan.  In the same way that you’d budget for your monthly expenditure Ch.1, plan how much you can afford to spend over Christmas and stick to it.

Put aside a sum for gifts, think carefully about who you can afford to buy for and from these figures, set a limit for each present.  As part of your planning, take a few minutes to sit down and write a list of what you’re going to buy for everyone. You’re more likely to spend less if you have a clear idea of what you’re going to buy instead of wandering around the shops, waiting for inspiration to strike and then making impulse buys (which you might later regret).

Preparing for Christmas

Christmas is one of the most expensive times of the year for us all. One way to avoid going into debt is to put aside some money from the beginning of the year to pay for it. Set up a separate savings account and have a sum transferred every month by direct debit. Another way to spread the costs of Christmas over the whole year is to start buying presents from the middle of the year.  In this way, you’ll be able to take advantage of discounts which aren’t available in December.

Bear in mind that leaving your Christmas shopping to the very last-minute often leads to panic-buying and overspending. Without wanting to seem stingy, you need to be able to draw the line when it comes to giving gifts.  Of course, you’ll want to spend money on your partner, children and close family but do you have to buy gifts for everyone who’s on your list?  Are you spending money on them because you want to or because you feel obliged to since they’ll be getting you something? As awkward as it may sound, the best way to tackle this problem is head-on. Speak to the people concerned and explain your dilemma – you’ll be amazed by how many agree with you and also their relief. You aren’t the only one who finds Christmas expensive.

Gift ideas for family

Instead of buying an expensive gift for your partner, discuss the possibility of pooling the money you’ve set aside for your presents to each other and buy a joint gift which you both and the house needs. In order not to take away from the magic of opening presents at Christmas, agree to spend £10 on stocking fillers and see how ingenuous you can be, given such a limit. Everyone would agree that Christmas is a celebration for children above all. However much you’d like to spoil your kids, remember that they’ll also receive presents from grandparents and other relatives. People spend over £1 billion on toys at Christmas, an average of £105 per child.

Think about the age of your kids – under-3s haven’t understood the concept of Christmas yet. They won’t feel short-changed if they only get one main gift and then some stocking fillers. As for teenagers, they’re old enough to understand the concept of budgeting. If they have their heart set on an electronic gadget or clothes, write them an IOU. Explain you’ll go shopping on Boxing Day Sales Ch.12. Not only will they get to choose what they want, but you’ll be able to save on how much you spend.

According to Azimo (the money transfer service), unwanted gifts in 2016 were worth £2.7 billion; 1 in 4 people interviewed had sold or re-gifted a present while 40% had returned a gift. Do you want to spend your hard-earned cash on something people don’t want or need? The obvious solution to this is to ask the person what they’d like – it’s amazing how many people don’t do this. If you have no idea of someone’s likes and dislikes, should you even be buying them a gift in the first place?

Buy Gifts Online

Searching for gifts online can be a convenient way to do your shopping since you don’t have to pay petrol/parking costs and can easily compare prices.  The Internet is often the most economical way to buy books, CDs and DVDs but you should, if possible, group purchases together so you can cut down on shipping/postage. Also, watch out for other hidden extras such as VAT. When Christmas shopping online, you should follow the safety guidelines that you’d use at any other time regarding security and protection of your credit card details. Choose from reputable companies. If you find a site with deals which are too good to be true, unfortunately, they probably are. Keep an eye out for scams.

You don’t need to have a unique skill to make your own presents. In fact, why not challenge friends/family to come up with the best home-made presents? Home-baked goods; growing herbs from seeds for people’s kitchen windows and jams, chutneys and pickles Ch.7are all gifts which could be made easily by amateurs. Just because they’re home-made, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bear the character/interests of the recipient. One way to do this is to offer your time by giving vouchers to be ‘redeemed’ later. For example, help in the garden for a keen gardener, babysitting services for parents of young children and so on.

Suggestion No. 4:

Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Black Friday is a day of discounts held on the Friday after American Thanksgiving (which is always the 4th Thursday in November) while Cyber Monday is the following Monday.  Despite some confusion over its origins, the term ‘Black Friday’ was first used in the 1960s by the police in Philadelphia to describe the smog, traffic and parking conditions on this day.  It’s now become synonymous with picking up bargains in the shops and was first intended to encourage shopping in the traditional lull in the retail industry between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Black Friday was brought to the UK in 2010 by Amazon while Cyber Monday was created in 2005 to encourage more shopping on the Internet at a time when it was still a novelty. Black Friday has steadily gained in popularity, and the fact that many stores also have websites means that the clear-cut distinction between the two days has blurred.  Often this means that it’s now a 4-day period of sales. In 2016 £5.8 billion was spent in the UK alone. People spent £1.27 on Friday alone, and made 64% of purchases online, from smart phones.

The key to finding deals on these days is to have a clear idea beforehand of what you’d like to buy so you should make a list. If you weren’t planning to buy something, can it really be a bargain or are you getting carried away by the frantic atmosphere generated by your fellow shoppers and buying on impulse?

Think about whether this could be an opportunity to save money on Christmas presents However, make sure you still stick to your budget and don’t be tempted to spend more just because prices are low. It should be the chance to save and not spend more.

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Ready to go shopping?

There are two ways to research before you purchase anything. Some people prefer to compare prices online first while others prefer to go to the shops, actually handle the products and then check the prices online. Both have their pros and cons.

The reason why you should check out the market beforehand is that the retail industry often uses the sales to slash prices on items of lesser quality. They try to shift stock (either because it hasn’t been selling very well or because its technology has become out-dated). Bear this in mind and also make sure that you know exactly how much it cost before Black Friday, so you’re positive that it is a bargain. In research carried out by the consumer watch-dog ‘Which?’ in 2016, they found that shopkeepers offered 49% of deals not at their lowest price on Black Friday. Many retailers had deliberately inflated the ‘before’ price to make it seem as if the saving was much more than it really was.

You should follow all the safety precautions to protect yourself from identity theft, credit card fraud and scams. Make sure that your browser is up-to-date and check that the website itself is secure. If you have any doubts about the reliability of the website and the authenticity of its offers, don’t buy anything and use the sites of well-known retailers instead.

Conclusion – Guy Fawkes Night

Payday loans net is one of the UK direct loan lenders. Payday loans net advises you on how to save money while making the most of Guy Fawkes Night, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Attending a professionally-organised town or village fireworks display and then returning home for traditional Bonfire Night food is the cheapest and the most enjoyable way to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night. When making your initial preparations for Christmas or if you’re planning to shop on Black Friday/Cyber Monday, the main way to rein in how much you spend is to organise yourself. Budget how much you can afford to spend. Research so you’re getting the best possible bargains. Make a list of what you’re going to buy and resist the temptation to buy on impulse.

If you’re struggling financially, cutting down on recipients of your Christmas cards and presents can save you money. There are economical alternatives such as e-cards, home-made cards/gifts and offering your time instead of a gift. Christmas should be a time of celebration and relaxation. Enjoy yourself with loved ones – worrying about your finances can ruin it for you so bear this advice in mind when shopping.

Chloe Winters
Chloe grew up in the countryside, but came to the city to pursue a career in economics. She fell in love with the abundance of shops, and quickly developed a passion for fashion. After blowing her first salary on a shopping spree, she realised that budgeting is the only way to go. Now, Chloe is a budgeting queen – and still manages to dress like a superstar. She loves sharing the advice and tips she gained along the way, and is excited to be part of the Payday Loans Net blogging team. Her advice to you: If I can do it, anyone can!

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