Tips to spread the cost of Christmas

Christmas may look a lot different in many households across Wales this year as the cost of living crisis continue to impact personal finances.

We’re over half way through the year and ideally have started putting some money aside for the festive season.

The average British household is set to spend around £997 each on festivities this Christmas, according to analysis from the shopping comparison site finder.com.

This is the equivalent to 52 per cent of the average monthly household income after tax and pension, typically £1,913.

Saving even the smallest amount of money will help make Christmas much more affordable – and merry.

Here are a few tips to achieve a happy festive season:

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 Moneyworks Wales payroll partner then you can have an amount paid from your salary directly into your 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 £100.

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. Set yourself a budget
Check your bank and credit card statements for the start of 2022 and see how much you spent over Christmas 2021, 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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 on.

If you want to start saving – no matter how little or how often – then contact your nearest credit union for details.

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