The Christmas holidays can be tough financially for most people, so do not feel like you are alone. Spending gets out of hand, presents become more expensive and it’s all in a bid to throw the best Christmas day for your family. Sometimes the pressure can be a little too much.
To try and take some of the financial stress of Christmas away we wanted to share our top tips and advice on how to save money for Christmas. Have a read and soon you’ll be able to sit back, relax and enjoy the holiday period.
It might seem obvious, but there is never a time that is too early to start saving for the holidays, especially if you are wanting to stay debt free. Think of it like saving for a holiday, you can put a little aside every month and add it into a Christmas pot, that way you won’t be hit by all the big Christmas bills at once in December.
You can also use this as a way to budget. Think about how much you would like to, or normally spend on Christmas, then divide that by however many months you’ve got to save. It’ll seem a lot less stressful with that money there ready to spend! Plus, you’ll find it extremely satisfying watching the amount grow each month.
Are you asking yourself, what can I give at Christmas when I have no money? Well examining your money could really help you start to save as you’ll fully understand where all your money is going! Examining your spending regularly is a good way of saving generally, but especially when you have something to save for like Christmas.
Look at costs that may not seem a lot each month, but that will add up over the year. Consider monthly subscriptions, do you need all of them? Do you use them enough? You could look at some of the food you buy, do you buy too much and end up throwing some away? Or perhaps you don’t need that cup of coffee next time you are out. There are many small items that we all spend money on regularly, but if you add them up over the course of a few months or even a year you’ll start to see that they really do start to become expensive.
Christmas is often a time for travelling, whether that’s to or from the Christmas party, to see family up and down the country or just because you want to travel to soak up different festive occasions. If you plan ahead with your travels you can often save a lot, whether you are flying or booking a train ticket, prices always get more expensive closer to the day. Especially when the airlines or train companies know there will be lots of people travelling at the same time as Christmas.
Get in first, and you could save yourself some money.
Where you can, try and pay off your debts before you start to save, especially when they come with an APR%. Why not try and contact your finance providers to see if there there is anything they can do to help clear your debt sooner. This could include increasing your payments if affordable to you or simply settling an outstanding balance.
If you are able to reduce payments or settle outstanding balances then this would give you more time and money to save for big events such as Christmas or even a holiday next year.
If your debt is on a credit card, try clearing this as much as you can. This will free up some cash flow for you if you end up needing it over Christmas and will leave you with less debt to pay off in January.
This is not just as easy as clicking your fingers, but if you’re in a job where overtime is offered, consider taking it. If you could consider freelancing on the weekends, give that a try. Maybe you are into arts and crafts where you could make gifts for people and sell them on the internet? We all have our talents, so whatever yours is, consider if there’s a way you could get a little extra income from it!
Although these tips offer you advice on how to prepare and save for Christmas they aren’t going to work for everyone. If you can’t afford that extra gift for a colleague then perhaps consider if you really need to buy it? The holiday’s are supposed to be a time of love, joy and spending time with your family. So focus on that and try to take yourself away from stressing about your finances.