As we enter the festive season you may have begun to brace yourself for the subsequent financial shock, when the credit card bills land on your doormats and in your email inbox in the New Year.
Overindulging in food and drink is so often matched by overdoing our spending, with the result that the first part of the New Year turns into a damage repair exercise for our budgets.
Of course, there are a range of things you can do to help turn Christmas into a financial success rather than financial excess. Here are our top tips:
1. Set a budget for your Christmas spending
Draw up a budget for your Christmas spending not just presents, but the additional spending on food, drink and socialising. Embed this Christmas element of your budget within the rest of the household budget, so that you can manage the overall effect Christmas spending has on your finances over a number of months.
2. Use savings wisely
Make sure you know how your extra spend is going to be financed. Perhaps it means withdrawing funds from a savings account, in which case make sure you access the money from the account paying the least interest.
3. Pay off credit cards quickly
If you use a credit card, try to ensure that you pay off the balance in full when the bill arrives in the New Year. Generally, credit cards are an expensive way to borrow money and store cards are even worse, given that they generally have higher interest rates.
If you’re taking advantage of credit card deals that offer 0% rates on balance transfers, make sure you know the date at which this introductory rate comes to an end and pay off the balance before then.
4. Shop around and look for deals
Shop around and look for deals . Many retailers are discounting their prices even as the festive season gets underway and there are good deals to be had.
Check out what discount codes are available, multipack savings you can find and use cashback sites where possible!
Remember not to go overboard! Christmas is just one day of the year and many items will go on sale on Boxing Day. The true value of Christmas is spending time with your nearest and dearest. Concentrate on this rather than the gifts you buy and receive.