General Education

How to avoid over-spending this festive season

Christmas Shopping Spending

The festive season is upon us, and whether you’re a Grinch or Buddy the Elf, it can be hard to resist the tempting offers on around Christmas- make-up advent calendar anyone?! But it’s important to avoid over-spending during the festive season to prevent the January blues from scuppering your 2020 plans.

Here are tips to help you manage your money this season, without putting a dampener on your holiday plans:

Decide how much you can spend

Yes, you might want that beautiful Mulberry bag with the signature postman’s lock (hint hint), however Christmas doesn’t give you carte blanche with your money to start splurging on extravagant items. Instead spend time reviewing your finances so you know how much you have to spend.

Open a holiday spending account

In the UK, we spend an average of £567 at Christmas, with gifts accounting for 53% of our total Christmas spending.

With that figure in mind, work out how much you need to put away weekly into a special Christmas spending account. For example, if Christmas is only 4 weeks away, you’ll need to save around £150 per week, but break this down again and it becomes only around £20 per day, which sounds much more doable.

Track your spending

You’ve done the hard work in reviewing your finances and discovering how much you can spend, you’ve opened a holiday spending account, but it’s time you started tracking your spending too.

It can be easy after a few too many mulled wines for all the hard work to unravel, but there are plenty of apps out there to help you track your spending and keep you in budget this Christmas.

Cut back on normal nights out

It’s no secret that over the festive period your wallet and liver can take a bit of a battering, but instead of carrying on with those afterwork drinks on a Thursday, or heading into town on a Saturday for a regular night out, invite friends’ round to yours for a night in. To keep costs down, ask each of them to provide either a starter, dessert or side and you provide the main. And for entertainment, you can’t beat a classic games night. Who knows it may become a regular occurrence in the new year too?

Remember what the festive season is all about

It’s important to remember that the festive season isn’t all about giving and receiving gifts, or wearing the prettiest, newest party dress, and going on all the Christmas dos. Christmas is about spending time with loved ones and letting them know how important they are to you. And maybe having the odd sherry along the way!

Zara Jones is a valued contributor to various CosmoBC's blogs.

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