Wrapping up Christmas

That’s right, Christmas is just round the corner and this year, things are going to be a little different. Budgets are tighter and we face the very real possibility of hosting Christmas dinner via Zoom.

Have you started prepping yet?

Last year most families expected to spend around £800 on Christmas, which is a massive chunk out of your December pay packet or benefits allowance.

That’s why it’s a great idea to get creative in the weeks leading up 25 December and think outside the box.

Yule need to prepare

Make a list of people to buy for and set yourself a target of tackling a few each week. Also, make a note of any other costs you expect to have, like decorations or putting on a delicious spread, as they tend to be the things that catch you out.

Go chest-nuts for a budget

Once you know exactly what you’ve got to pay for, sit down and work out a budget.

There’s a lot of pressure to have the ‘perfect’ Christmas, but if it’s going to bleed you dry and stress you out it’s not going to put you, or those around you, in the festive spirit.

If you do have to go into your savings or overdraft this year, make sure you read the fine print so you don’t get stung with extra charges.

Spending’s snow problem

If we had unlimited money, we could buy all the things we want for the people we love. Chances are though, many of us will feel the pinch this December thanks to coronavirus.

Luckily there are lots of great ways to be smart with your spending.

For example, lots of online shops have cracking Christmas deals on and many have launched extended Black Friday sales.

If you’ve got a lot of people to buy for try mixing it up with a Secret Santa, or agree not to do gifts at all. If you are gifting though, maybe agree a price limit in advance – it lets everyone know where they stand and takes the pressure off.

Send presents and cards early so you can use 2nd class post rather than splashing on first or next day delivery, and hold onto receipts in case you need to change something last minute.

Elf yourself

One great way to keep costs down is to make your own gifts. Some of the best presents are homemade because they’re totally bespoke and show a lot of love.

Whether it’s a festive mix CD, a painting, a scrapbook or a favourite cake, there are lots of websites out there for inspiration and guidance on cool homemade presents.

You could also get the kids involved with making decorations as a fun and affordable way to brighten the house.

Sleigh your rent

It’s easy for rent to fall by the wayside during this wonderful, stressful time of year.

Give yourself an early gift and get your rent wrapped up using one of our many easy ways to pay, including the My Onward online portal.

Struggling to pay?

Our Financial Inclusion Team can offer help and support on both rent and other money issues, so please get in touch ASAP for a chat.