Christmas really is one of the most wonderful times of the year, it is when you treat your loved ones to some special gifts and treats. Whilst it is great to spend the money on treating your family and friends, Christmas is also a time of huge financial burden.
In fact, the National Debtline charity has shown that as many as 16% of Britons, which is around the 7.9 million people mark, say that they feel that they are likely to fall behind with their finances in January, after overspending at Christmas.
Debt that has been built up over the festive season is a real problem for many people and the research shows that it is also on the rise. Whilst it can seem only too easy to put any gifts and other items that you need to buy on a credit card. This may not always be the best approach to take, particularly if this then means that you are going to find paying bills difficult during the first few months of the year.
But does this mean that you have to forego the treats during the festive season? The answer is no, but you might just have to take a slightly different approach. To help you to have a great Christmas, without having to worry about falling into further debt, we have put together our guide on how to save for Christmas, making sure that you have the money to spend when it comes to buying gifts.
Always work out your budget first
On average, Christmas will cost a UK household around £500 mark. This will include presents, decorations and food, as well as any other things that could pop up during the season. Having this figure in mind can be a great place to start with your budget. Think about the things that you need to pay for, such as hosting dinner, any parties that are coming up as well as who you will need to buy presents for. Think about how much these things will cost, as well as how much you are likely to want to spend on gifts and this will give you a budget that you can then split down throughout the months and work out how much you need to save every month.
Commit to save
It is only enough to work out how much you need to put away each month, you also need to make a commitment to actually save it. It is great to want to put away as much as possible, but you should always be realistic about how much you can actually realistically put away each and every month without it having too much of an impact on your overall finances and leading to you giving up.
If you are worried about how much you can put away, then you could always get yourself a pot that you then place spare coins (aim for £1 and £2 coins) in, which will help the cash to build up over the year.
Think about different ways to approach Christmas
One of the main issues with Christmas and money is the sheer pressure that is put on people to spend. Whether it is to make sure that your children have the best time or that you can treat those you love the most, spending out more money than you can afford isn’t always the best approach to take.
So, why not approach Christmas in an entirely different way? You can try and pick up some of the key items that you are going to need for Christmas. Crackers and decorations are things that you are definitely likely to need and they are often the things that come up in sales just after Christmas, so why not pick those up?
You can also, if you know the type of things to buy, try buying some of the bulk of your gifts early, not only can you grab yourself a bargain, but you will also be able to spread the spending out throughout the year, rather than it all being focused in November.
Which is the best saving method for you?
If you have decided to save money for Christmas each and every month, then you are going to need to think about what might be the best saving method for you. Some people (especially those who are happier to save coins rather than notes) may prefer to have a ceramic jar that they can use to put them in.
Others may decide that a savings account is a much better idea. Particularly if you are concerned that you may end up simply taking coins or notes out of the jar. There are lots of different savings accounts out there that you can choose from. Some will give you a great interest rate, others will allow you to instantly access the money. It really depends on what is going to be the best approach for you to take and what you think you will be the method that you will most likely use and keep on using.
So, as you can see, when it comes to Christmas there are plenty of other options that are open to you rather than having to find yourself in a huge amount of debt. Think about how you can approach Christmas differently, think about the ways that you can either budget, cut down how much you spend as well as put money away each month. The thing to remember is just because you are trying to cut down on debt and save yourself money, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have the very best Christmas for you and for your family. Isn’t that the most important thing to think about when it comes to the festive season.