It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it is also the most expensive. Christmas presents, Christmas food and Christmas experiences are all lovely, but they cost money, money we often don’t have. Christmas is the time of year when credit cards are maxed, store cards are opened and debts are accumulated, debts that we will then be paying off right into the New Year and beyond. There are things you can do though, to keep the spending, and therefore the debt, at a more manageable level.
Sort out the debt you already have
If you already have loans, credit and store cards that you are finding hard to manage payments for, it may be worth sorting out these debts before you increase them and take on others. An IVA ( Individual Voluntary Arrangement) could be an answer, allowing you to only pay what you can afford. To find out more information about IVAs click here.
Set Your Budget
For all the important things in life, whether it be getting married, moving house, booking a holiday, it is always sensible and practical to set a budget. Christmas is no exception. It is too easy to get carried away with the whole excitement of the festive period, buying heaps of presents that then sit under the bed for the next six months. Aim for quality over quantity and stick to that budget.
Whatever you are buying, you need to shop around rather than buying it at the first store you see it in, The Internet obviously has lots of bargains, but stores are now competing, with whole weekends dedicated to discounts that are often store wide. Also, look for things like the Boots Star Buy, a promotion that M&S has also started to embrace, 3 for 2 offers and buy one get one free or half price bargains.
Wait for Black Friday
If you are planning on buying anything electrical, or at the top end of your budget, then it could be worth waiting for Black Friday. Some stores are already offering early Black Friday deals, but it is worth signing up for email updates for key stores, and watching sites like Amazon who have some great Black Friday deals each year which can help you make huge savings.
Make sure you are savvy with the cash this Christmas.