Start Preparing Today for a Merry Christmas
Christmas may seem a distant memory as your tinsel gathers dust in the attic, but it’s never too early to start saving for the next festive season.
By putting even the smallest amount of money aside will help make Christmas much more affordable – and for that matter merry!
According to the Bank of England a typical household in the UK spends just over £2,500 in a month but we spend almost £740 – or 29% – more in December.
It’s difficult to pay for Christmas out of December’s pay packet alone, so it makes sense to save up as much as you can beforehand.
The Covid lockdowns, furlough and redundancies wreaked havoc on our finances which is why the sooner we start saving, the better.
Here’s a few tips to achieve a jolly Yuletide:
1. Save little and often
Open a credit union savings account and commit to saving a small, regular amount each month. If your employer is a credit union payroll partner then you can have a nominal sum deducted from your salary and placed directly into a savings account. Try to be realistic because it’s better to commit to a manageable amount than to aim too high and give up. If you don’t save enough, then remember that credit unions also offer manageable loans from as little as £50.
2. Challenge Yourself
With the ‘penny-a-day’ challenge, allocate a jar for your ‘Christmas fund’ and then put in one penny on the first day, two pennies the second day, and so on. This is a very manageable way to watch your savings mount up.
3. Give Something Up
Give yourself a financial makeover and commit to giving up something you purchase daily or weekly and put the money into savings instead. During lockdown many of us have enjoyed an extra tipple or two but that additional bottle of Malbec or Sauvignon Blanc soon adds up. Similarly treating the family to a weekend takeaway can mount up to a couple of hundred pounds per month.
4. Set yourself a budget
Check your bank and credit card statements for the start of 2021 and see how much you spent over Christmas 2020, taking note of areas you can cut back on next time. Make a list of family and friends you will be buying presents for and allocate an amount for each person. If you are hosting dinner, consider how much you will need to spend on food and drink..
5. Start buying in advance
Why don’t you buy a present per month to help spread the cost and reduce the stress of last-minute shopping? Remember to shop around and compare prices in store and online before you make a purchase.
6. Start new Christmas traditions
Embrace the digital age and email Christmas cards to save on postage. There are lots of free websites that let you create your own cards, with family photos. You could also give something handmade instead. Make a fun coupon promising to spend time together and plan some future events – it would mean more to them than any gift which is stuck in the back of a drawer.
7. Have a clear out
Sort out your cupboards and have a good old clear out. These unused items just take up extra space and could potentially earn you some extra cash if you sell it online.
If you want to start saving – no matter how little or how often – then contact your nearest credit union for details.