Keep your finances wrapped up this Christmas!
For most of us, Christmas is the most expensive time of the year.
According to the Bank of England, a typical UK household spends over £2,500 a month. But in the run up to Christmas this can increase by an extra £800.
Our Money Advice Team has five simple tips for an affordable, enjoyable and debt-free Christmas and a happy New Year.
Set yourself a sensible budget. First, make sure you pay essential bills such as the rent, council tax, food and utility bills; these need paying even at Christmas!
- Make a plan
Start shopping as early as you can. Pick up an extra something – food or a small gift – every week and put it aside for the big day. Why not look around your local charity shop for a bargain too? They sell toys, clothes, books, shoes and household items at an affordable price.
Consider saving throughout the year if you can, to take some of the pressure off!
- Be realistic
If you want to buy gifts, consider making a list showing what you are thinking of buying and ask yourself “can I afford it?”. If the answer is “no”, then don’t buy it.
Remember, you don’t have to spend more than you want to. If you’re worried about other people’s expectations, talk to loved ones about setting an affordable budget or suggest a Secret Santa so everyone buys and receives one gift.
- Be creative!
Why not give the personal touch by making a gift? If you’re a budding baker or into craft, consider baking a cake or making a scrap book of favourite memories. Often, this is better for your finances and could be more personal.
- Don’t forget to enjoy yourself!
Finally, remember to think about you! Many people become overwhelmed with the burden they put on themselves to make Christmas perfect. Remember to relax and enjoy spending time with your family and focus on what’s going well.
For extra hints and tip on saving and coping this Christmas, check out www.moneysavingexpert.com/shopping/christmas-savings/