Everyone knows that, for all the festivities and excitement surrounding it, Christmas can be an expensive and time consuming event which requires careful planning ahead. As such, it is well worth looking at your finances well in advance so that you can minimize the hit they will inevitably take.
There are a number of ways to go about doing this, and the earlier you start, the more prepared you will be for Christmas. Here are some useful tips.
Set a Budget
By setting a budget for yourself a few months in advance, you can start to save a good deal of money through cutting down on your expenditure. To do this, you should look at all your outgoing expenses each week/month and try to find areas where you can tighten your belt.
This may include spending less on food, cutting down energy usage for lower bills, or finding cheaper alternatives to products you regularly spend money on. It is also worth trying to tot up the overall potential cost of Christmas so that you have an idea of how much you need to save. Even just starting two or three months in advance could help you reach this target fairly quickly.
Put Money Aside
Another effective way to plan for Christmas costs is to set up a small Christmas fund which you can add to throughout the year. Even just £20 per month could save you £240 for the year, which should soak up a good deal of Christmas costs.
Those with bad credit who may find it difficult to open another bank account could consider using a bank account for bad credit, and even putting spare change in a jar at regular intervals could build a significant amount of money over a year.
For those buying gifts, expenses can build up fast (depending on how many need to be bought). However, retailers are constantly competing with each other at Christmas, so it is worth shopping around extensively if you have your eyes set on the perfect present, as you may find the same product is cheaper from a different retailer.
Be sure to explore all avenues, and you could end up saving a good deal without having to change any of your gift ideas.
These are some effective methods for protecting your finances for the Christmas period. Remember that it is never too early to plan ahead, and that you will save yourself a good deal of stress and money by doing so.