The cost of getting the food for Christmas dinner, decorations and gifts soon adds up, which in turn adds to the stress. According to the Money Advice Service, the average household spend for Christmas is around £500. There are, however, some ways that you can look after your money in the run-up to Christmas.
One of the simplest ways of managing the Christmas finances is to budget. Set aside X-amount of pounds for each family member’s gifts and make sure that you leave enough for food, bills, car maintenance etc. Once you have that finalised, start looking at where the best deals are. Shops are eager to promote their Christmas sales, so take some time to compare prices in different stores before buying, or even hold off buying gifts until the Boxing Day sales begin.
Christmas markets are also good places to find bargains, and Leicester is full of them. Not only can you find something different or quirky for your family members, but there is a good chance there will be a Christmas bargain not available in the mainstream stores. The same can also be said for using a local butcher or farmer for the Christmas dinner.
It might sound strange, but having a Christmas clear-out of your attic or garage could also earn you some extra money. With so many places people can sell their unwanted goods, your clutter could be a goldmine, and can help get your house in order for when the relatives arrive.
With technology running our daily lives on an increasingly regular basis, utilising it to save a little extra money makes complete sense. There are many websites which allow you to create your very own bespoke cards with family photos, which you can then email to family and friends. Stamps now cost around 60p, which does not sound like much, but if you are sending a lot of cards this does add up.
One final important tip is to start saving immediately for next year. Yes, you read that right! Start off my putting aside a small amount – around £2 for example – each week and keep it in a safe place. Many supermarket now how machines which easily turn that pile of change into notes, which will be useful for getting next year’s gifts.
Though Christmas is inevitably a difficult time, with these steps, you can still enjoy the festive period.