It’s no secret that Christmas can be one of the most expensive times of the year. With presents to buy and huge food shops to tackle, the festivities can put strain on your bank account. If you’re keen to manage your finances well this Christmas, you’re in the right place. Here, we’ll explore how to plan your spending and top tips for cutting costs.
Be realistic with what you can afford
Many people feel tempted to splash the cash during the festive season – from indulging in luxury food to buying expensive designer gifts. But spending more than you can afford may put you in financial difficulty, particularly if you build up debt. The key is to be realistic with what you can afford to keep your finances healthy through Christmas and beyond. To do this successfully, you need to set yourself a budget for food, gifts and any other festive things, which we explain below.
Set yourself a budget and stick to it
When it comes to successfully managing your finances at Christmas, you should set yourself a spending budget and stick to it. Take a look at your finances and see how much disposable income you have to spend, or any savings you’ve got that you’d be happy to use over the festive period. It’s wise to follow the 50/30/20 budget rule, which divides your income into 50% for essentials, 20% on debts and savings, and 30% on anything else. If you follow this, you could use 30% of your income over the festive season on tasty treats, presents and other goodies.
Cut costs by making homemade gifts
Are you keen to cut costs this Christmas? With many people across the country facing financial strain due to the coronavirus pandemic, you’re certainly not alone. One simple way to cut costs is to make your own gifts this year, rather than fork out on expensive presents. You could bake homemade cakes or cookies. Why not create a piece of artwork if you’re particularly creative, or even make your own candles in your kitchen. The options are almost endless!
Shop around for the best deals
Another easy way to save money at Christmas is to shop around for the best deals. If there’s a specific item you want to buy as a gift, look at various retailers. See if they have any offers you can take advantage of. Of course, this doesn’t only apply to present shopping, but food shopping too. If you have time, check out any deals supermarkets have on your favourite festive treats. Maybe you can get what you need for the best possible prices.
By effectively managing your money over the Christmas season, you can enjoy the festivities without having a financial hangover to face in the new year.