Countdown to Christmas – Set a budget to avoid getting into debt!

For many families, Christmas can be the most expensive time of year. As the children in your family get older, the gifts often get more expensive too, with many children wanting the latest consoles and tech gadgets.

With Christmas just around the corner, and the last payday beforehand looming, today is a good day to sit down and set your budget to avoid starting the New Year in debt.

Why budget?

Living beyond our means is a common way of getting into debt, so it’s important to consider the costs of Christmas and whether the longer-term repercussions are really worth it- for just one day of the year!

It’s a good idea to sit down and write a list of who you intend to buy for and also any extra costs that might crop up, like a turkey for your Christmas lunch for example.

You need to decide a budget for each person or item, that way, you can collate the total cost and prioritise. Think back to previous years, was the gift bought because you felt you needed to, or was it essential? Did you really need to get an extra-large turkey, when a small crown would have been sufficient?

Sitting down today will also be useful for next years budget. Keep hold of your list and divide the total cost by 11. Set this amount aside each month to make next year’s Christmas even more manageable.

The Money Advice Service have created a Christmas Money Planner to help you calculate your expenses. This can be helpful when trying to determine how much you can afford and to avoid increasing debt levels.

Top Christmas Tips

Avoid gift cards – with many companies teetering on the edge of going bust with the current economic struggles, now is the time to avoid gift cards. They aren’t covered if the company does go out of business.

Recycle – do you have a bunch of old gifts you haven’t used? Can you utilise these to save yourself spending?

Sell items you’re not using anymore using eBay, Depop or Facebook Marketplace. This could free up some cash for any additional Christmas expenses that crop up.

Make a list – more importantly- stick to it! Don’t be tempted to buy extra stocking fillers or go above your spending threshold.

Use your supermarket rewards – built up point using Nectar, Clubcard etc? Redeem them in time for your Christmas shop!

Still got last year’s gift wrap? Use it again! No one’s going to notice.

Avoid borrowing – Getting into debt to pay for Christmas will only cause stress and worry in January.

2020 could be the year to break the pre-existing expectations and set a new precedent for how Christmas could look in the future. The global pandemic has taught us that life’s not all about who has the most money or the best luxury items- it’s about time spent with loved ones and making the most of what we have.

Don’t have an account with us and are looking for debt advice?

Angel Advance provides online debt advice to get you back on track and make your finances more manageable.

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