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!
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.
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.
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.
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