How to spend smart for special occasions?

scan this qr code with your mobile device

The new season of your favourite show has just been released. So, you binge-watch the entire season in one night and it is fantastic! Plot twists, love-triangles and a fireworks finale. But you wake up the next morning to find out you’ve used up all your data for the month! The next few weeks are going to be tough.

Birthdays and the festive season often bring joy and excitement – friends & family, food, decorations, presents – but they can also bring a temptation to binge-spend. And after the confetti has settled and the candles have been blown out, you might find you’ve set yourself up for a financially stressful month.

It’s important to enjoy life and these special events are a great reason to let loose and have fun.

So, let’s talk spending and how to have yourself a savvy little festive season and stop money worries snowballing into the new year!


Before we start

The festive season, friends’ or family birthdays… they’re always at the same time of year, right? So, our best advice is to plan ahead (that’s budgeting) and keep some money set aside (that’s saving) so you can afford to buy gifts without running out of money or going into debt – we’ve got plenty of helpful articles for you.

But, maybe you’ve left it too late or you simply don’t have the money or don’t want to spend big. Well don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are our top tips for last minute savvy spending and adding value without adding pounds to the price.

Three top tips

Prioritise your spending

Identify the aspects of the celebration that matter most and allocate your budget accordingly. If the perfect gift is your priority, consider saving on other elements like decorations or going out.

Smart spending means using your money to bring the most joy and value to the occasion. This way, you can indulge in the aspects that matter without overspending on every detail.

Add value not pounds

Have a spending limit and sticking to it – it’s very easy to get carried away. So, think about adding value without adding to the cost to help keep spending in check.

Here are some ideas:

  • Consider doing a gift swap, hosting a dinner party at home, or other cost-sharing activities with friends and family to keep expenses in check while adding a personal touch.
  • Embrace homemade – whether that’s baking, crafting or recycling something you already have in the house.
  • Gift your time or skills – create personalised coupons for services like babysitting, a homemade dinner, or doing some cleaning.

Shop around and spend smart

Make discount hunting a sport during special occasions and don’t settle for the first option that pops up. Take the time to research and compare products or services to find the best bargain.

Remember to:

  • Search for deals, promotional codes or cashback rewards before making online purchases
  • Compare prices across different stores
  • Look in charity shops for unique finds (buying second-hand is kind on the environment too!)
  • Scrap brand names and find non-branded alternatives that have good customer reviews 


While few of us can afford to buy everything we’d want for a special occasion – without impacting our financial goals – a small budget can still make a memorable special day.

So cut the frills, not the fun. By spending smartly, sticking to your spending limits and taking the time to hunt for discounts, you can add value without necessarily adding pounds to the price tag, and avoid unnecessary financial stress.

Have your say!

We want to hear from you. What are your favourite ways to cut the costs and add value for special occasions? Do you make homemade gifts? Have you ever used a comparison website to find the best deals?

Related Articles

Skip to content