Posted on: 18-10-2016 in Finance
The winter festive season will be here before we know it, so now’s the time to give your personal finances the once-over. How are you fixed? Are you ready for what’s coming?
Keep your personal finances in check over the festive period with these three tips:
Decide now where you want to be financially at the end of January 2017 and base your festive spending plans on that goal.
However you decide to define the festive period, it’s good to have a rough idea of what you’re prepared to spend and what you’re not, over the winter break. And the sooner you make a plan, the longer you’ve got to support it by saving up.
Keep track of what you’re spending on a spreadsheet. And be disciplined about checking your credit card and bank statements so you’re not tempted to pull the wool over your own eyes.
On the other hand, be generous when it comes to planning for the “little” costs that might add up on drinks/parties/presents. These costs WILL add up. And if you are unrealistic and give yourself a measly budget, you run the risk of getting frustrated and blowing the budget altogether! (It is Christmas, after all!)
For those of us who give Christmas presents to friends and family, a touch of creativity can go a long way to cutting costs.
And those costs are generally high! Last year in the UK, Brits bought a total of 760m gifts valued at over £24bn, buying on average 18 gifts each with an average spend of £596 (figures from statista.com, Radiumone, Retail Gazette 2016).
So look at gift ideas you may not have considered. That’s where the creativity comes in. Just do it differently this year! And see what you find out! You may well unearth a whole new way of festive shopping that is cost-effective and fulfilling – rather than a pain in the neck. Just broaden your net. Look at big savings websites like Groupon, for example. Browse potential gifts that are experiences rather than products. Consider offering your time as a gift (you might be surprised who would appreciate your full attention for a given period). And, if all else fails, cash in all your loyalty points across all your cards and see what you can get your hands on!