Christmas is coming – are you ready money wise… or preparing for a festive financial hangover?

Christmas can be such an expensive time for us can’t it?  Every year I vow to keep things to a minimum and then it seems to go awry.  My daughters are older now and insist that “they don’t want much”.  Treating them is a parent’s prerogative though, and there are so many tempting ads on the telly that get me itching to buy.

2020 has been an interesting year to say the least and Christmas seems to be the time when we can all get together and celebrate – even if we are in smaller groups or or bubbles!  But does that mean we have to spend, spend, spend?  Overindulging in food and drink is often matched by overdoing our spending.  The result of this is that we start the new year with a damage repair strategy very much needed!

There are lots of things that we can do to make sure Christmas is a financial success rather than financial excess – here 6 top tips to help you get a financially worry free Christmas.  Do let me know if you find them useful:

1. Create a Christmas spending plan

Ok you can call it a budget but that sounds so baa humbug.  I prefer spending plan!  So create a plan for ALL the spending you want to do – not just the presents, but the food, drink, wrapping paper, cards, stamps, decorations, tree, stockings and don’t forget the crackers!   The spending plan needs to be for the amount that you can afford.

2. Spend what you can afford 

Not to make sure everyone gets what they want.   Be strong – don’t give into pressure from others.

3. Avoid plundering your savings

If you have saved specifically for Christmas, then well done you – I hope you enjoy spending it.  If you need to dip into the savings to cover Christmas, decide how much you will need and stick to it.  Avoid continual dipping as it will soon mount up and before you know it your savings are gone.

4. Shop around for deals.  

So much will be bought online this year so make sure you have a good scout around for the best deal.  Try using Idealo.co.uk or Camelcamelcamel, which does the same for Amazon goods.  Remember to take into account delivery costs and times – it needs to arrive in time!  Also keep the receipts for any returns.

5. Book your delivery slot…

 if you haven’t already done it.  This can help you stick to your spending plan but won’t if you are going to make the second and third “nip the shop” trips to “just get a few things”.

6. Track, track, track your spending.  

Creating the Christmas spending plan and then ignoring it won’t work.  Keep a running total of what you are spending as you go.  You could use an app like Money Dashboard to help you.  I think it is brilliant.

Have a lovely Christmas everyone and let’s hope that 2021 will mark the beginning of a new and wonderful year.