Christmas is the most exciting time of the year for many families. However, over the last few months, the cost of living has caused an increase in energy and food prices. Therefore, you may feel more anxious and stressed than usual this Christmas. BDCU is here to help to provide with useful money tips on how to budget for Christmas!
Christmas on a Budget: Useful tips
Set a Budget and keep track of it!
Having a set budget will help control your spending and make you aware of the costs and how much you will need. Therefore, it can help in reducing financial anxiety. Once you know how much you can afford, distribute the amounts between your Christmas gifts, food, and decorations.
Keep track of your spending once you have set a budget. You can do this by either writing your expenses down in a notebook or a spreadsheet. Many banks also feature a spending calculator on their apps where you can track how much you have spent on bills and any other expenses along with your remaining balance. Many banks also give you the option to receive notifications after each transaction, you can opt-in for the alerts.
If you have many bank and credit card accounts, you can use a free app called Emma to track your expenses altogether.
‘Secret Santa’ with budget
Get your family and friends involved in Secret Santa. This can help reduce costs if you all agree on a set budget for each person.
You can purchase secondhand gifts which are in good condition from places online such as Facebook Marketplace, Vinted, and eBay-partnered charities. These charities include British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research. It’s not just cheaper, but also more sustainable. As children tend to not play with the same toys for a long period, secondhand toys are a good way to keep costs low, especially plastic ones that can be disinfected.
Beware of ‘Buy now, Pay Later’
‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ can be useful for some. However, it is important not to exceed the interest-free period. If you are not careful, you will be charged a high amount of interest, which will then add up to costing more than what you originally planned on paying. Furthermore, if you default on payments, your credit score will be impacted negatively.
Delivery fees – premiums
If you order from a particular website or supermarket regularly, it is beneficial for you to purchase a premium delivery pass. You could save from £20 to over £100 a year if you buy regularly from the same store. Places such as Amazon offer an Amazon Prime 30-day free trial for free delivery.
VoucherCodes is a good website to use for finding the best deals available for the site you’re on. For university students, Student beans is a good app to use. If you’re a Carer, you can use DiscountForCarers to find the best deals.
Budget gift ideas
You don’t need to purchase the most expensive gifts to show your family and loved ones how much you care for them. They may appreciate something more thoughtful like gifting a memory by picturing it in a frame or bringing out your creative side to make a homemade gift! For example, bake a cake or some brownies or make homemade jewelry, candles, and soaps (many DIY videos are available on the web).
Decorate on a budget
A good way to save is to reuse some of the decorations you used the previous Christmas. You could also swap some of your decorations with your friends. In that way, you will have a new-looking setup without the expensive spending!
Honesty is the best policy
It can be difficult to talk about money. However, it is important, to be honest with family and friends you trust. If you are going through some financial difficulties, they should be able to understand you about scaling back. Being honest can also help reduce your anxieties and the pressure to buy expensive gifts and host a lavish get-together.
OUR CHRISTMAS LOAN IS BACK!
Following feedback from our members, we have decided to bring back our Christmas loan! We help our members to avoid falling for high-cost lenders by assuring them they can finance for Christmas without stress. This is for new and existing members who want to borrow from us. They can borrow up to £500 for our Christmas loan.
You can find out if you are eligible for our Christmas loan here.
Finance can be complicated, why not read our first tips and sign up for more.