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How I buy all of my Christmas gifts and treats without it costing me a penny


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I haven’t always been good with money – rewind my life 16 or so years – way before I started working in personal finance for Express.co.uk and I was drowning in £16,000 worth of debt. It wasn’t easy paying it all off, but once I’d done it I promised myself I wasn’t going to get into debt ever again, especially not for one day a year. The good news is I worked out how to have a ‘no spend’ Christmas and I’ve been sticking to it ever since.

I’m not the only one who swears by this simple money saving tip – Clare Willets told Express.co.uk she earns £1,200 every year selling items she no longer uses online. 

She told Express.co.uk: “I’ve earned over £1200 but you could earn a lot more if you have high value items or sell really regularly.“

“All you need is a smart phone, then you can take the photos and upload them. It really is that simple.

“It’s great to know that your stuff has gone to a home where it will be used and enjoyed.”

As well as selling stuff I no longer use online, I’ve also switched banks – I’ve done it loads of times and have never had a problem.

Nationwide and HSBC are currently offering customers £200 to switch, while first direct is giving people £175.

If a person has a much bigger family to buy for then they are probably going to need a bigger budget – but the principle remains the same.

I don’t think people should get into debt for one day a year – Christmas can be just as enjoyable without going over the top.


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