You are here: Home - Credit Cards & Loans -

Should you already be saving for Christmas?

0
Written by:
09/10/2014
A third of Brits will start the New Year in debt after an expensive holiday season, according to the Money Advice Service (MAS). Can planning ahead help you avoid the debt trap?
Should you already be saving for Christmas?

Jane Symonds, money expert at the Money Advice Service, says: “Christmas can easily turn from an exciting time with the family to a big financial stress. If you haven’t already set a budget, now is a good time to take control of your spending. It’s important to know that you don’t have to live beyond your means to make it a fun time, especially if you plan well in advance.”

Here are five tips from the MAS for making the festive season a little more affordable:

Fix your budget

Make a detailed list of everything you’ll need for the season, from presents and decorations to food, transport and alcohol. Build a realistic budget around this figure and keep a careful list of everything you spend so that you don’t blow it. Also be aware that you may need some cash reserves for those grim mid-January bills.

Top up your Christmas fund

Look for ways to cut your day-to-day spending in the months before the holidays and put the money you’ve saved into your Christmas fund. Limiting takeaways, bringing a packed lunch to work and swapping your morning latte for an instant coffee can leave you with a healthy chunk of change by the time Christmas shopping rolls around.

Keep an eye out for offers

Be open to shopping online or offline – the important thing is price. Watch for special offers and check for discount vouchers online and in newspapers. Always double check delivery costs to avoid a shock at checkout.

Borrow carefully

Think carefully about how you borrow extra cash. Using a credit card or extending your overdraft can have very different costs from provider to provider, but both are almost guaranteed to be cheaper than a payday loan. Planning ahead can help you find the best possible deal – by, for example, changing to a bank with a fee-free overdraft.

Resolve to start early next year

Christmas does come every year, and with that in mind it’s never too early to start saving. Open a savings account and transfer a set amount via Direct Debit every payday. You’ll soon learn to live without the money, and even a small amount will add up over the year. 

Tag Box

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Could you save money with a social broadband tariff?

Two-thirds of low-income households are unaware they could be saving on broadband, according to Uswitch.

How to help others and donate to food banks this winter

This winter is expected to be the most challenging yet for the food bank network as soaring costs push more pe...

Your rights for refunds if travel is affected by strikes

There have been a wave of strikes this year across many different industries, and more are planned over Christ...

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

DIY investors: 10 common mistakes to avoid

For those without the help and experience of an adviser, here are 10 common DIY investor mistakes to avoid.

Mortgage down-valuations: Tips to avoid pulling out of a house sale

Down-valuations are on the rise. So, what does it mean for home buyers, and what can you do?

Five tips for surviving a bear market mauling

The S&P 500 has slipped into bear market territory and for UK investors, the FTSE 250 is also on the edge. Her...

Money Tips of the Week