My Financial Broker is a credit broker and not a lender. Warning: Late repayments can cause you serious money problems. For help, go to https://www.moneyhelper.org.uk/
Christmas is just around the corner and can often be a strain on our wallets, with the effects felt well into the New Year. That’s why it’s a good idea to always start planning your Christmas finances in advance – that way, nothing comes as a shock last minute.
For instance, before you start going shopping mad, you need to set a budget. You should start by working out what your income will be for the month. Most people budget for Christmas based on their November salary, but some employers may pay you earlier in December, so it’s always worth checking this and factoring it into your budget.
After removing household bills, living costs, travel costs and other commitments you’ll be left with your Christmas budget. So, if you’re looking to save money at Christmas, try following a few of these simple tips!
It can often be really tempting to spend just a little more to get those perfect presents for your loved ones, but any extra spending could lead to financial difficulties in the long run. Besides, it’s not like your friends and family will know what presents you were considering, so they won’t know that you chose the cheaper option!
Always try to stick to your budget, and don’t go overboard. Christmas may be a time for giving, but you don’t have to spend outside your means to make others happy.
All forms of public transport are extremely busy during the Christmas period. If you’re looking to visit friends and family to exchange gifts, and you’re not driving, you should always book in advance to ensure there’s no last-minute price jumps and to guarantee your place.
And if you do plan to drive, see if you’re able to carshare. That will make the petrol much cheaper, as you can split the cost between whoever is travelling with you.
If you’re a part of a reward scheme or have loyalty cards, you may be tempted to shop in the same place. A report by Which? found that loyalty cards are sometimes not worth the extra you’re paying versus shopping at other shops though, so it’s always worth shopping around.
If you’ve made a list of what you want to buy for your loved ones, try not to buy anything straight away. Then compare prices, in every shop you go into, and every online marketplace. Once you’re confident you’ve found the best deal, you can start spending!
Many retailers post unique discount codes on their social media channels, so it’s always worth doing a quick check before you make any purchases. Websites like HotUKDeals also post up to date discount codes and deals.
It’s also worth noting that you can get a lot of deals online if you’re willing to buy secondhand. Not everyone will mind if their gift is new – for instance, a book doesn’t have to be brand new in order to be an enjoyable read. So check sites like eBay and Vinted for bargain buys.
If you’re buying from Amazon, you can get a free trial for Amazon Prime which guarantees next day delivery – just don’t forget to cancel before your trial ends! Though you may decide to continue with the subscription – Prime does come with a lot of other benefits, such as their streaming platform.
Now’s a great time to start selling your unwanted gifts online through online retailers like eBay and Gumtree, as the demand for cheap Christmas gifts increases at this time of year.