Having a cost-effective Christmas

Having a cost-effective Christmas!

This year you might be feeling more Christmas stress than usual. Given the cost-of-living crisis we're going through, it’s a real challenge to manage your finances.

What with energy bills rising and inflation pushing up prices, we’re likely to be spending less on Christmas than usual.

If you’re looking for ways of reducing how much you spend, this article includes some tips from our members and staff on how to make the festive season more affordable.

There’s never been a more important time to understand your budget, so we’ve included some information on the basics of budgeting.

Most important of all – don’t let the stress become too much, so we've included details of some useful information you can find online.

Money-saving tips for Christmas

Here are some of the best ideas our members and staff had on saving money at Christmas.

“For my kids’ presents I use a four-gift rule – one thing they want, one they need, one they can wear, and one they can read. It helps me focus on what they really want and reduces ‘mum guilt’

“Adult friends often like homemade presents – things like cakes. This can mean more than something that you’ve bought as it’s more personal”

“Get a list of presents well in advance and look for them turning up in offers and sales”

“Most of the large retailers normally sell wrapping paper and tags half price after Christmas – buy some and stock up for the following year!”

“If you’re travelling by train over Christmas, look for tickets online in advance as you can usually save quite a lot compared to ‘on the day’ prices”

“Have a look on eBay – a lot of people get things they don’t want and then sell them in great condition for a chunky discount”

Budgeting Basics

One of the keys to a stress-free Christmas is understanding your budget.

A budget is an itemised summary of your income and expenses for a given period. We recommend setting up a budget for your household and then reviewing it from time to time, especially when prices are rising as fast as they are at the moment.

Start by making a list of everything you’ve got coming in and going out. If there’s more coming in than going out – that’s great – you have a surplus budget! Remember to still look for cost savings and to be aware of the ongoing impact of rising prices.

If there’s more going out than coming in, you have a deficit budget, and you’ll need to see where you can cut some expenses. It can be really difficult but, if left unaddressed, you can end up in real financial difficulty.

Take a look at our ‘Keeping a Budget’ article for more information on preparing a budget. The section on budgeting also has various articles on how to make savings in areas like energy bills.

Dealing with Christmas Stress

If you’re struggling to cope please reach out and talk to someone – a friend, family member, or even a charity like the Samaritans or Mind.

Just talking to someone about your Christmas money worries can have a positive impact on your mental health.

You might find it useful to take a look at Mind’s “Money & Mental Health” article.

The information on this website is for general guidance on your rights and responsibilities and is not financial or legal advice. We have endeavoured to ensure that the information on this website is accurate. However, we will not accept liability for any loss, damage or inconvenience arising as a consequence of any use of or the inability to use any information on this website. We cannot guarantee that our service will be uninterrupted or error-free. We are not responsible for claims brought by third parties arising from your use of this site.

We assume no responsibility for the contents of linked websites. The inclusion of any link should not be taken as an endorsement by us or of any association with its operators.

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