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How to keep Christmas costs under control, with some help from the sharing economy

We are now well into the Christmas season, and there’s still a couple of party-filled, present-buying weeks to go.

To avoid financial desperation in the long weeks until the January payday, here are some tips from the world of fintech and the sharing economy to help keep your financial outlay under control.

1 – Driving home for Christmas

Unless you are one of the super-organised ones who brought their train ticket back in August, the trip home can be a significant outlay. Cut your costs by logging on to liftsharing website BlaBlaCar or LiftShare and find someone with room in their car who is going the same way. It is usually significantly cheaper than the coach or the train. Or if you’re driving, you can cover some of your petrol costs by taking passengers.

2 – Paying for Christmas dinner

We’ve all been there. You’re out for dinner with friends, and when it comes to paying even the one with a first in maths from Cambridge can’t split the bill so it comes to the right amount. Here’s where new app Tilt comes to the rescue, inviting friends to send funds directly into your bank account and keeping track of who has (and hasn’t) paid. Funds aren’t released until you’ve hit your target.

3 – A time for sharing (clothes)

No one really has the spare cash to spend on a new outfit for Christmas parties, yet temptation can prove too much. An alternative is to log-on to Rentez-Vous, peer-to-peer clothes-sharing website, where you can hire something for the week for a fraction of the cost of buying it.

4 – When there’s no room in the inn…

…there’s always Airbnb. The igloos and chalets might already be gone but there’s still plenty available if you are looking for somewhere to lay your head without breaking the bank.