Surprised Black girl holding teddy bear toy on Christmas
‘Create a gift giving culture that allows you to spend less on each other, yet still appreciate the thought and effort put into getting the gifts,’ say moeny saving experts. Photo: Getty

Christmas can be an expensive time of the year, with the cost of food, drink, and presents mounting up — especially for those who may have lost their jobs or are financially struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The money saving experts at online price tracking website Alertr.co.uk have compiled a list of tips to help you save money and get ready for Christmas without a lasting impact on your savings.

Start prepping early in the year

Starting to get prepared earlier on in the year allows you to slowly get all the things you need for Christmas without feeling such a big effect on your monthly income.

Putting a small amount of money towards Christmas plans each month means you can get prepared without eating into your savings or finding yourself short at the end of the month.

Don’t go overboard on presents

You can still experience the joy of giving without spending huge sums on the latest game console or smartphone. “Create a gift giving culture that allows you to spend less on each other, yet still appreciate the thought and effort put into getting the gifts,” say the experts at Alertr.

Try making homemade gifts, upcycling or putting a cap on how much each family member spends on presents.

Make a budget

“Set out a certain amount to spend on each of your friends and family members and try not to exceed that limit,” say Alertr’s money saving experts.

READ MORE: Early Christmas shopping boosts UK retailers

“Setting a budget could help you can work out earlier in the year what impact Christmas is going

As your business grows, you’ll likely have more capital in rotation. As you bring in more money, you will also need to spend more to continue growing. 

However, it’s important to ensure that you’re not spending in excess and are still saving money where you can. Otherwise, you may find yourself in the red and facing some exceptionally difficult financial decisions.

Below, 15 members of Forbes Coaches Council share their best advice for business owners looking to keep their operations lean and save money.

1. Observe, Plan And Earn Before You Spend

Understand, observe and become fully aware of your industry and the needs of your business. Learning to optimize your costs takes time, errors, small tests and planning based on the data you collect every day. Ask yourself what you can change or improve in your current cost structure. – Michelle de Matheu, The Mind, Body & Soul Stylist

2. Say ‘No’ More Than You Say ‘Yes’

In a growing company, it is easy to say “yes” to a new product or service, to a client that does not fit your ideal client profile or to a new business category or opportunity. If you want to stay lean, say “no” to anything that is not part of your core. Focus is powerful and leads to extraordinary results. – Chuck Gulledge, Chuck Gulledge Advisors

3. Use A Variable Staffing Model

Staff your business for the valleys and supplement with contractors for the peaks. Too often startups take their funding or early revenue and hire staff too quickly. It’s smart to use a variable staffing model to cover services effectively and find that quality mix of people on staff, on contract or

The partnership enables EWar Games to add PokerBaazi and BalleBaazi on its mobile gaming platform

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Bengaluru-based EWar Games on Wednesday announced collaboration with the Delhi-based gaming giant Baazi Games. Following the tie-up, EWar Games will be adding Baazi Games’ flagship products like PokerBaazi and BalleBaazi on its gaming platform.

While on one hand the partnership enables EWar Games to introduce real-money games like online poker and fantasy cricket to its user base, on the other hand, it will help Baazi Games to leverage EWar Games’ platform to attract and acquire new players for its existing games. 

“The latest partnership between EWar and Baazi—two popular names in India’s the gaming industry—is indeed quite unique and significant, as it paves the way to a versatile experience for an emerging pool of real-money gamers in our country. By adding Baazi Games’ skill and mind-based games for the first time on EWar’s platform, we are fulfilling our promise of constantly expanding our game offerings, adding value and bringing more opportunities to earn money for our users. Going forward, we at EWar are confident of giving a wonderful combination of streaming and fair gaming experience in poker, fantasy cricket and other games offered by Baazi,” said EWar Games founder and chief executive officer Parth Chadha.

This development comes at the time when India’s most loved T20 cricket league (the Indian Premier League/IPL) is back in action after getting delayed due to the ongoing pandemic, and similarly, an increasing number of people across the nation are showing interest in and/or turning to new genres of online gaming, including

Luis Suárez, Barcelona to Atlético Madrid (£5.5m)

Related: Men’s transfer window summer 2020 – all deals from Europe’s top five leagues

The transfer story of the summer was a move that didn’t happen, but while Lionel Messi stayed at Barcelona, several high-profile teammates were ushered out. Ivan Rakitic, Arturo Vidal and Rafinha left for cut-price fees but the departure of Suárez caused the most anger – not least with Messi. “You did not deserve for them to throw you out like they did,” the Argentinian told his strike partner via Instagram.

Suárez has said the manner of his departure reduced him to tears, but it may be Barça who look back with regret. Having initially tried to dictate his destination, the club were forced to let Suárez join Atlético for a £5.5m fee made up entirely of variables. The Uruguayan may be nearly 34 but forcing out such a pivotal player was a big risk. Handing him to a title rival looks careless at best, and his explosive debut showed what he can do as part of an artful strike duo with Diego Costa.

Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, Southampton to Tottenham (£15m)

The Danish midfielder spent four years at St Mary’s but his departure caused little consternation among Southampton fans. Højbjerg impressed in spells but struggled for consistency, and was stripped of the captaincy in June after expressing his desire to leave. Having got his wish, Højbjerg has shown why José Mourinho was so keen to buy him. Nobody has completed more passes in the Premier League season, and the former Bayern academy product is building a solid midfield foundation with the improved Tanguy Ndombele. If he can maintain his strong start, £15m for a 25-year-old looks a steal.

Luca Waldschmidt, Freiburg to Benfica (£13.5m)

Project Restart has not gone to plan

Senate Judiciary Committee member Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., spent the time allotted for him to question Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett Tuesday on a “hypocritical monologue” that claimed “dark money” was behind her nomination, “The Five” co-host Dagen McDowell argued.

“I wanted to talk about Sheldon Whitehouse and the hypocritical monologue or lecture that he hacked up in front of her,” McDowell began. “[He didn’t] ask her one question. Not one. He implied that Amy Coney Barrett is not there because of her accomplishments, because of her intellect, because of how she’s lived her life, but that she’s there because she’s a pawn of dark money.

“Hypocrite! You know what that also is?” she asked. “That’s sexist. Let me call him out on it.”

McDowell recounted how Whitehouse, a former federal prosecutor, offered a 30-minute dissertation on how the Federalist Society and Judicial Crisis Network have purportedly conspired to spend millions of dollars in support of judicial nominees that support their agenda.

Whitehouse laid out his theory during th hearing on a posterboard labeled “The Scheme.”

“In all cases, there’s big anonymous money behind various lanes of activity,” he said, holding up a sign bearing the names of the Federalist Society and the Judicial Crisis Network along with a reference to legal “groups,” all of whom purportedly receive millions in anonymous donations as they influence judicial nominations and court cases.

Whitehouse further tied issues like abortion and health care to large donations to conservative judicial groups and statements from Republicans about judicial nominations.

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He then referred to briefs from Republican senators arguing that courts should overturn  the Affordable Care Act, as well as the claim often made by Democrats that Trump specifically chose Barrett for the Supreme Court to rule against the