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Christmas New

7 November 2016

Christmas Budgeting

With Christmas not too far away, the challenge of not over spending during the festive period is a harsh reality. Getting through the festive period without breaking the bank or spending way beyond what you can afford can be something we all struggle with. Here Kate Murray, Senior Savings Product Manager at Principality Building Society, shares her tips for steering clear of the festive financial fear and keeping your funds looking healthy into next year. 

Let’s face it, it’s never too early to start budgeting for the festive season. But now we can actually say Christmas Day is next month (scary, we know!), it’s definitely time to start planning ahead to work out what budget you have and most importantly, ensuring you won’t be spending beyond your means. From spreading out the costs to snapping up great online offers, there are a few simple money-saving techniques that should see you through the festive season leaving your bank balance intact. 

Set a budget 

Spend some time planning a realistic budget for yourself, sooner rather than later, and use it as a guide to see you through November and December. Remember to cover presents, the festive food shop, buying a Christmas tree and the things you might forget like a festive party outfit or travel expenses to visit family. Set a price limit against gifts so you’re not tempted to over indulge on a highly priced gift that you can’t really afford. Cross-check your budget against your pay ensuring you include the monthly household bills, mortgage payments and so on. . Finally, when you’re planning your budget keep in mind that if you get paid early in December, that last pay day of the year may need to cover you for Christmas, New Year and all of January (and it can feel like a long few weeks if you haven’t budgeted ahead). 

Spread out the Christmas costs 

It might only be the start of November but spreading the cost of Christmas between this month and next will help take the pressure off your finances in December, and could cross some things from your list. 

Cut back on supermarket spending 

While Christmas is the perfect excuse to indulge in delicious food and a drink or two, think back to last year’s shopping list. Did you end up throwing leftovers away? Were some packets not even opened? Cut back where you can to avoid wasting food and unnecessary spending. It could help your savings in the long run and you’ll more than likely still have plenty of tasty Christmas treats to keep you going. 

Save money over Christmas presents 

If you’re on a serious savings drive at the moment, no matter what for, keep thinking of the bigger picture of whether it’s that house deposit, home renovations or a large purchase coming up. It doesn’t have to be put on hold over Christmas. This year you could do things differently such as a family ‘secret Santa’ to reduce spending, or if buying for a partner, you could commit to putting the money you would spend on presents into your savings account (with their agreement!). 

Take advantage of free delivery 

Christmas is the perfect time to support your local high street and more often than not you can pick up some unique gifts that can buy you brownie points worth much more than money. But if you do decide to use online shopping to buy presents, at this time of year many websites can introduce special offers such as free delivery. 

Make a list (and stick to it) 

It’s simple, we know, but one of the best ways of ensuring you don’t overspend or purchase unnecessary presents is to make a list. This can be a list of presents you have in mind and presents you’ve already bought, which is particularly useful if you bought a gift a little while ago.

Published: 07/11/2016