Managing Money for Christmas

Christmas is notorious for the higher credit card bills. There’s so much demand on our finances between the presents, cards, decorations and supplies for the big day. But the last thing anyone wants when it comes to January is a financial hangover from Hell. So what can you do to stop that happening?

Start the Shopping NOW

Encouraging you to shop might seem like an “alternative” way to combat the credit card hangover! But if you start early, you can spread the cost of Christmas over multiple months, rather than putting the entire burden on your December pay packet.

Pen and Paper

You can’t beat lists! No, that’s not just an obsession I have with putting pen to paper to scribe these things – they genuinely do help. Write down EVERYTHING you are going to buy, ensuring you’ve not missed a single thing and, most importantly STICK TO IT!

Impulse purchases will result in a nasty financial hangover.

Compare Prices

We have no excuse now not to compare prices given just how easy comparison engines online have made it. You might not think that saving a couple of quid here and there will make all that much difference but it adds up, especially when you’re buying dozesn of presents.

Try Not to Resort to Plastic

Purchases on plastic will invariably end up costing more, what with interest and even potential penalty charges. If you can avoid it, do!

This is why You’re Skint!

Wondering why you always seem to be creeping dangerously low on funds two weeks before the next payday? Ever sit and wonder just where on Earth your money goes? Maybe this is why you’re skint!

Spending at Work

Assuming you work Monday – Friday, have 20 days annual holiday per year plus bank holidays, you will go to work on 233 days each year. With that in mind….

  • Buying lunch at £3 per day will set you back £699 per year!
  • Buying a coffee at £2 per day will cost you £466 per year!
  • Buying a newspaper at 30p per day will set you back £69.90

Now surely that’s a good reason to make lunch at home, skip the Starbuck’s and read the free Metro newspaper!

Brand Buying

Supermarket’s own brand products are often no different to their more expensive branded counterparts. How much more are you spending than you need to?

  • A 500g box of Kellogg’s Cornflakes will set you back £1.92. Tesco own brand will cost just 95p for the same quantity. That’s a saving of 97p per box. Buy one a week and that’s a difference of £50.44 a year!
  • Fairy’s standard washing up liquid costs £1 for a 450ml bottle. The Tesco equivalent is 51p. That’s a saving of 49p per bottle, or £5.88 eachyear if you buy one a month.
  • Heinze 400g cans of soup will set you back 74p each. The equivalent is just 52p per tin if you buy the Tesco brand. That’s 22p difference per can. Let’s assume a family goes through 5 a week, that’s a difference over a year of £57.20

Credit

The cost of credit is rising. Always! Depending on your rates and any charges you incur, anything you buy on plastic is going to cost more than buying it in cash! Get a grip on your hire purchase habits.

Utilities

Of course, we all need our water, gas and electricity. But you might be surprised in the differences in prices between the gas and electricity companies. Shop around and save up to £65 over the course of a year.

Just the few savings illustrated here amount to savings of well over £1000 per year. For someone on a £20000 salary, this is a significant saving.

We all make unecessary purchases from time to time… cutting back on them could save you a small fortune.

Posted on in Budgeting.