How not to overspend at Christmas

Sabrina Jillah
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It can’t have escaped you that the Christmas ads have started popping up everywhere you look. The panic of having to buy all those presents, who gets what, Christmas decorations, wrapping paper, all that food – and breathe!
Do not panic and put everything on your credit card, it’s best to budget and prevent yourself going into debt. You don’t want to have a huge bill to pay in January and then have nothing left to pay for the essentials. We’ve a few ideas here to help.

1) Write up a budget and stick to it
Work out how much money you have to spend after bills and start budgeting. Only spend how much you can afford. Write a list of your expenses, including:
List of people you are buying gifts for and a budget for each present
Food and drinks for family dinners
Travel plans – train tickets etc
Cards and postage
Parties – new outfits, spending money

2) Try not to use your credit card, this is where you can get hit by interest and fees, especially as you won’t be looking at the bill until January. It’s best to stick to your budget and pay by cash, or even put the cash on to a Prepaid Card and use that to pay for things. Some prepaid cards offer cashback from certain retailers, like the Usdaw Prepaid Plus Card.

3) Avoid impulse buying. You may see things on offer and be tempted, but think about whether it’s worth it and fits in with your budget. Also, things you see on the high street may be cheaper online - it’s worth checking. Be careful what time of day you shop – you’re more likely to make impulse purchases on your lunchbreak or after work, where you have to make a quick decision that you might regret.

4) Look at where you can save. Stick to one present per person and no little extra ones where the cost can add up. If you are travelling home by train, buy your tickets in advance to get the cheaper fare. Send e-Christmas Cards rather than the traditional, saves on postage. Can you wear party outfits you already own, and just use different accessories? Use last year’s Christmas decorations – there’s no need to buy new each year.

We hope reading this will help you not to overspend this Christmas – the key is to set your budget. And then enjoy the build up to the festive season!

Brought to you by UsdawProtect

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