Last year the Money Advice Service (MAS) carried out a survey the results of which indicated that approximately 34% of Britons feared they would end up in debt after spending too much over the Christmas period. The organisation says all the information at its disposal indicates that this did indeed happen.
Very often, it’s simply a lack of financial planning (and restraint) that causes people to end up with money problems after the Christmas period. This is why MAS decided to publish a number of tips to assist people with their financial planning this year.
The organisation says that the first step is to draw up a budget for the festive season to make sure you don’t spend more than you can afford. Draw up a list of holiday expenses such as Christmas dinner and gifts and if necessary cut down where it’s needed.
Buying gifts long before the time will enable you to make use of special offers and discounts, while waiting until the last moment will inevitably end up being more expensive. Don’t forget the online option – there are often great discounts on offer from online stores this time of the year.
Cut down on non-essential items such as eating out for lunch or buying expensive takeaways. Also, consider cheaper alternatives for Christmas gifts. It is, after all, the thought that counts, not the price of the gift.
As Jane Symonds of MAS rightly points out: “Christmas can be an expensive time of year, but it’s important to know that you don’t have to live beyond your means to make it a fun time, especially if you plan well in advance – after all, it does come every year!”