5 Top Money Saving Tips for Christmas

Although we are heading towards the end of October, now is definitely the time to start thinking about Christmas and planning ahead. We’ve got 5 top money saving tips for Christmas that we think might help as you start the gallop towards the festive season.

In the summer we talked about saving for Christmas. If you have, that’s great, you’ll have a pot to fall back on when you reach December and if you’ve not, don’t panic, there is still time!

Save Regularly

Whether you get money coming in each week or month, transfer it out of your current account into an another account. A Nottingham Credit Union share (savings) account works very well for this purpose and because you are a payroll member, you can have the deduction taken straight from your salary, taking away the hassle of having to transfer it yourself. We also know that having the savings separate to your usual bank account means you are less likely to dip into them.

Although we only have November and December remaining, set this up as regular savings going forward – that way you’ll have started a good savings pot for next year.

Budget

It’s an obvious one but when you are under pressure from your kids to buy the latest gadgets, budgets can often go out of the window. Most people know what they have coming in between now and Christmas. Don’t forget you will also need to factor in food and entertaining over the Christmas period. From statistics published last year a family will spend an average of £800 on Christmas.

You can come up with a budget by working out what you will spend on food, entertaining and presents and then looking at what income you have coming in. Be realistic. There is no point in budgeting to spend £500 and blowing that by spending £1,000. Additionally, planning the perfect Christmas might not be what you can afford either! Unfortunately bills don’t stop because Christmas is coming and so be sure to cover all your usual expenses before buying presents.  

Borrow Responsibly

Although the message this time of year is usually one of drinking responsibly, we encourage you to borrow responsibly. Although there is a temptation to put Christmas on a credit card and indeed statistics show that almost a third of shoppers last year did this, there is an inevitable price to pay in doing this.

It takes minutes to buy with a credit card but months and years to pay it back. Is the expensive priced gadget worth that to you? We all want to please our loved ones with the perfect presents, but debt takes away people’s happiness as well as their spare income.

Last year there was an increase of 60% on the number of people who called the National Debtline after Christmas with worries about overspending.

We aren’t trying to burst the festive bubble, but we don’t want you to become another debt statistic – borrow responsibly.

As you know, Nottingham Credit Union offer affordable loans for payroll members where the repayments are deducted directly from your salary. There is something to suit everyone’s budget and so if you do need to borrow, you can do so sensibly.

Share!

Christmas is all about family and friends so why not share the load! When you have friends or family over, rather than being responsible for all the food and entertainment, ask others to contribute. People are more than happy to bring dessert or go halves on the food and drink bill.

Giving isn’t always expensive

Be creative. Your kids may not thank you for home-made gifts but others will. Bake Christmas cakes and other goodies or if you are creative, put together gift baskets. You can also find plenty of festive gifts for £5-£10 that don’t cost the earth but that people would appreciate. Shop around and don’t be afraid to spend less. The gift is in the giving remember

 

 

Categories: BLOG.

How to pick up the best last minute holidays for half term

It’s always good to try and get away when the kids have a break from school. We’ve done some research and found some great tips on how to pick up the best last minute holidays for half term.

Here’s what we found:

Holiday in the UK

If your budget won’t stretch to a holiday overseas, you could always opt for a holiday at home. Lots of people dash abroad for half term holidays and so there are lots of deals to be had at home. It might be a bit chillier in the UK this time of year but it can be just as much fun and all that lovely fresh sea air. Haven Holidays for example collect all the late deals in one long list, making booking much easier. Here’s the link to the Haven late holiday deals for 2017.

 

Plan the Trip Yourself

Although travel sites often have some brilliant last minute deals, you can sometimes get a cheaper option by booking each element yourself. This means booking the flights, accommodation and transfers separately. It requires a little more planning but it can work out cheaper. It is best to cross check that you can get accommodation on the same dates as flights but there are so many budget airlines offering different flight times and dates that it is usually pretty easy to get what you want. Booking.com offer some great deals on accommodation and you can search for shuttle transfers in the location you are visiting to find the best deals.

 

Last Minute Travel Agents

Although there are lots of last minute sites out there, if you are able to wait until the very last minute, like just 1-3 days before, you can grab a bargain at your local travel agents. You see the signs in the window or the rows of cards telling you what the last minute holiday deals are. This can sometimes mean you won’t know which hotel you are going to until the day, but if you are laid back and easy going this might be the option for you. You can simply provide dates and go with what comes up. You can specify location and even the star rating of your accommodation too. Definitely worth considering and one of the best tips for how to pick up the best last minute holidays for half term.

 

Newspapers

The press are always publishing the latest information on how to grab a last minute holiday deal. Try these for starters as they have recently published articles on how to pick up the best last minute holidays for half term.

Birmingham Mail – Cheap Last Minute October Half Term Holidays 2017

Telegraph – The 25 Best Last Minute Family Holidays for October Half Term

Telegraph – The 40 Best Last Minute Family Holiday Destinations for October Half Term

Independent – The 10 Best Last Minute Travel Websites

Mirror – Best Hacks to Find Cheap Last Minute Holiday Deals from the UK and how to Save on Trips Abroad

 

Airlines

Many airlines offer complete holiday packages. The airfares are often much cheaper than if you buy elsewhere. Try British Airways, Virgin, Thomson or Easyjet.

 

Travel & Comparison Sites

Finally, there are always great deals to be had by looking online at places like Travel Republic, Travel Supermarket and On the Beach. Do some searching on how to pick up the best last minute holidays for half term.

Have fun!

 

Categories: BLOG.