Avoid a festive financial hangover with our Christmas budgeting tips

Research by TopCashBack indicates that 45% of UK adults plan to cut their Christmas spending in 2023. Despite rising prices, the UK’s love for a good old-fashioned Christmas knees-up is set to make a dent in our finances.

Check out the suggestions below, which we've put together to help you spruce up your savings and sleigh your spending. 🎅

It’s never too early to start saving

It’s never too late (or early!) to start saving for the Christmas season. It may feel like summer has only just passed, but spreading the cost of Christmas will help relieve stress over the festive period.

Work out how much you can afford to spend overall – including presents, work parties, decorations, social events – and budget. MoneyHelper has a Christmas-specific budget planner to help you prioritise spending.

An easy access savings account such as our Welcome to Newbury account could help you to save for more expensive purchases.

East access means that you can withdraw money whenever you need with no penalty, whilst still earning interest. Once the turkey sandwiches dry up and January begins, you could utilise the account for other goals. A gym membership or a bit of winter sun, perhaps?

Spread out and search for discounts 

Many of us procrastinate when it comes to Christmas shopping. It seems obvious, but leaving things to the last minute won't save any money - it'll just mean you spend more in a shorter period of time, which can have more of an impact on our financial situation.

Remember: the internet is your best friend when it comes to hunting for discounts. Try out the Google Shop tool to easily compare prices across different websites. Alternatively, cashback voucher websites like TopCashBack and Quidco allow you to earn money back on your spending, whilst online voucher codes can help you to make excellent snap savings - particularly with festive meals out!

You can also wait for Black Friday or Cyber Monday to hunt for deals on larger, more expensive items. Check out our tips to keep your money safe and make the most of Black Friday here.

Cash in your loyalty points

Many high street retailers and supermarkets have loyalty schemes where you can build up points through everyday spending, equalling some great discounts on festive spending. Some popular schemes include:

  • Advantage Card (Boots)
  • Nectar Card (Sainsbury's)
  • Clubcard (Tesco)
  • Waterstones Plus
  • myWaitrose
  • Health and Beautycard (Superdrug)

Don't forget about other retailers, such as Lidl, Marks and Spencer and Morrisons that offer loyalty points and membership rewards via an app or an online account instead of a physical membership card. 

As Martin Lewis would say, don't forget to 'downshift'!

Downshifting is all about going one brand down from your usual choice. For example, if you usually buy the most expensive supermarket range, you could try their standard version. If you often opt for a big brand, why not try an own brand? The packaging might be less attractive, but you could be surprised at how similar they taste!

Making changes like this might seem inconsequential, but when it comes to catering for a crowd, every penny counts. The Downshift Challenge on the MoneySavingExpert website can help you get going.

Set rules for presents 

Setting expectations with family and friends can go a long way to helping you manage your budget and ensure that you don't overspend. You could consider:

  • Agreeing on a present spending limit
  • Doing Secret Santa with your family or friendship group to limit the amount of gifts you need to buy
  • Making a donation to charity on behalf of someone instead of buying a gift 
  • Make instead of buy - there are some great resources online and if you have children, they love getting involved in festive crafting!

The important thing to remember is that Christmas is about spending time with the people we love and being thankful for the things we have, not how much money we are able to spend.

Worried about your finances?

If you're worried about your mortgage payments, our friendly Mortgage Payment Support team can help. Contact them here. You can also visit our Cost of Living hub for helpful tips, tricks, and advice. 

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