The nights are chilly and dark, the Christmas lights will soon be up. Unless you’re living in bunker, Christmas is a coming- meaning presents under the tree, delicious food and drink and ‘quality’ time with the family. It’s easy to get carried away with the Christmas feeling, spending money to create the ‘perfect’ Christmas.
So we’re asking, how much will you be spending this Christmas?
Will You Get Carried Away?
It’s Christmas and it’s easy to get carried away. All the adverts show the perfect Christmas and shops encourage us to buy expensive gifts to show how much we love our family and friends.
The average spending on gifts last year was £28.70 per gift and £118.31 on turkey alone. ..a costly month for everyone.
How To Keep Track Of Expenses
If it’s not buying Christmas presents it’s getting the ingredients for Christmas dinner. There’s so much money flying around at Christmas it’s hard to keep track!
So what can you do to ensure you manage your money and keep track of spending?
Make a list of the people you need to buy gifts for. Can you speak to family members and friends about gift buying? Could you agree to a spend limit or to only buy gifts for the kids?
Once you’ve decided this, put a budget next to each person and stick to it. Don’t be tempted to buy extras and if needs be use cash, carrying only the amount you’ve budgeted. Once it’s spent, it’s spent. To learn more about budgeting, read our article ‘How I Budget’ from real Provident customers
Shop around for the best deals, looking both online and offline, comparing prices and packages.
Ask your kids for a Christmas gift list and get them to put the presents they most want at the top so you have an idea of which gifts they want the most and can budget accordingly.
When it comes to your Christmas dinner, ask family members to share the burden of cooking by each bringing a dish. You’re spreading both the cost of the meal and the stress of cooking it (once you’ve had arguments over who brings what).
Shop around for ingredients and only buy what you need. Do you need to buy a full Turkey or could you manage with just the crown? Do you need Yorkshire puddings as well as stuffing, sprouts, roast potatoes and pings in blankets? Whilst it is traditional part of Christmas now to have leftovers, are you really going to all leftovers for the next month?
Plan who is coming and decide portion sizes for each guest- can you compromise on dishes? Whilst great Aunt Martha likes traditional sprouts and Christmas pudding, would everyone else prefer something different? Does anyone even like sprouts?!
It’s easy to get caught up in spending at Christmas, but remember, it’s just one day!
Do you have any budgeting tips? Let us know below!