It’s only 7 weeks until Christmas Day and many of us will be thinking about starting our Christmas shopping soon. If you think you may struggle with your finances this Christmas, read our ‘How to have a debt free Christmas Guide’ for some handy tips to help.
BE REALISTIC WITH YOUR SPENDING AND STICK TO A BUDGET
Research by YouGov suggests a typical family will spend about £835 on Christmas this year. Many will rely on credit cards, overdrafts and loans to fund it – but this can be avoided if you budget effectively. There are some great budget planner tools on the web that can help you plan what you can afford to spend at Christmas. Once you’ve put this together, make sure you try and stick to it.
TRY NOT TO SPEND ABOVE YOUR MEANS
It can be very tempting especially at Christmas to look into opening new sources of credit. Inevitably, some people will need to borrow money this Christmas and if you do, make sure to shop around. Many credit card companies offer 0% introductory periods on purchases – providing you pay your balance before this period ends; you won’t pay any interest on the goods you buy. Check out Money Saving Expert or Money Supermarket for the latest deals.
SHOP AROUND FOR YOUR CHRISTMAS SHOPPING
Make sure you do your research before buying your Christmas presents this year. Many retailers will differ in price as they try to gain business – so check out both the high street and online to find the best prices. There are a number of comparison websites you can use to compare prices of products before you buy such as Kelkoo, My Supermarket and Price Runner.
TREAT THE KIDS WITH A FREE LETTER FROM SANTA
Some companies charge as much as £10 for a letter from Santa, but there’s no need when Royal Mail offer a letter from Santa for free! Simply write a letter to Santa and post it before Saturday 6th December to:
Santa will respond to as many letters as he can, but make sure you include the correct address on a stamped envelope. Visit The Royal Mail website for further information before you send.
VISIT OUTLET DISCOUNT STORES
There are a number of discount retail outlets dotted around the UK, with many offering up to 70% off high street prices. Some retailers also have outlet stores online such as eBay or Amazon where you can grab a considerable bargain.
Check out this website to find the nearest outlet store to you.
Follow your favourite retailer on Twitter or Facebook to stay updated with any Christmas promotional offers or savings.
SAVE YOUR SUPERMARKET REWARD CARD POINTS FOR CHRISTMAS
Tesco’s and Sainsbury’s both offer reward cards where you can collect points every time you shop.
Why not trade your reward points in for money off for your Christmas shopping? Tesco’s offer £5 for every 500 points, however there is opportunity to boost your points and trade it in for 3-4 times more that with Tesco Clubcard Boost.
ORGANISE A SECRET SANTA
Save some money and team up with family and friends and introduce “Secret Santa” this year, where you buy one present for one member of the group and set a spending limit – that way you only end up buying one present and it’s much less stressful!
CHOOSE YOUR SHOPPING DAY WISELY
Many people will do their Christmas shopping whenever they have a spare day, but if it’s possible to plan your shopping day in advance, you could end up saving money. Look out for mid-December discounts around the 12th December and as Christmas gets closer, you’ll see some retailers reducing their prices to sell their stock.
DIY CHRISTMAS GIFTS AND DECORATIONS
Luxury Christmas Decorations can be tempting, but also expensive. Why not spend some time creating your own unique Christmas Decorations with your family. Whoo Home has a step by step guide to simple yet affordable Christmas Decorations.
And if you love Crafting, why not make your own Christmas Gifts there’s lots of inspiration on the internet to give you cheap and unique DIY Christmas Gift ideas.
Finally, if you do have debts worries over Christmas or afterwards, check out our free debt help guide or get in touch. Here at The Debt Advisor we can offer you advice and solutions to help deal with your debt including Debt Management Plans (DMP), Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVA), Bankruptcy as well as solutions for Businesses.
There is also free help and advice available through a variety of debt charities. For more information, we recommend you visit www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk.
The Debt Advisor is regulated by The Financial Conduct Authority and is also a member of the DRF and we adhere to their codes and standards.
Call us today on 0800 0851 825 to speak with one of our advisors. If you’re calling from a mobile you can reach us on 0333 9999 600.