Budgeting tips to help you prepare for Christmas

Christmas is a special time of year for many, and with the rising cost of living, many of us will be thinking about how we can make our spending go further this festive period.

The earlier you can plan ahead the better, however it’s never too late to make a budget for the holiday period. Read on for our tips on how to make your Christmas spending more rewarding this year….

Start with your spending

A key step when reviewing your finances is to look at your current spending to understand exactly where your money is going each month. For example, many of us forget about those smaller purchases such as travel and morning coffees, which add up and can have a bigger impact on our overall spending than we realise.

Budgeting tools and apps can help make tracking your spending easier and can even suggest ways to save. You can use a free online budget planner or look for budgeting apps to help you stay on top of your outgoings. And if you set up spend notifications, it will be easy to keep track of what you’re spending and spot any fraudulent activity. 

Set budgets and agree limits

Work out exactly what you need to buy over the festive period, whether that’s presents, food, drink or entertainment, and set yourself a budget - allocating separate amounts for each element could also help you stay on track.

If you’re buying presents in a group – whether it’s friends, colleagues or family – why not suggest doing Secret Santa instead or set a price limit for any presents?  

Don’t worry if that sounds like a lot to organise, there are free-to-use Secret Santa Generators online that do the hard work for you!

Sign up for sales alerts and offers

Make your money go further this festive season by knowing where and when to find pre-Christmas sales and offers. An easy way to do this is to sign up for sales-alert newsletters for the brands and shops you plan to buy from.

Start shopping early

Get out and hit the shops as soon as you can – this way, you can spread the cost of your shopping across a few months rather than all in December.

Don’t forget your loyalty points!

Before you start shopping, check the various loyalty cards you use regularly to find out just how many points (or pounds) you have saved up – you might be surprised!

You could then use them to treat a loved one, or put them towards the Christmas dinner.

Some loyalty schemes allow you to use points to buy an experience – such as a cinema ticket, trip to the theatre or magazine subscription – rather than spending them in store, and you’ll generally get more value from your points.

Preparing for next year!

Once you’ve enjoyed the festive period, you could get really organised and start preparing for next year’s! The Christmas sales are a great time to get next year’s gifts at a fraction of the price.

Looking for more ways to save this festive season? Check out our article on getting creative this Christmas.