Having survived the festive season for another year, the last thing you probably want to think about is next Christmas. However, a lot can be said for planning as far in advance as possible, especially when it comes to your finances.
After all, the average Christmas spend per household is around £500, which includes food, presents, travel and decorations, among other expenses. Chances are that nearly every family up and down the country could do with putting some money aside before the festive season rolls around again.
Reduce stress and increase enjoyment
It goes without saying that Christmas can be as stressful time of year as it is joyful, and your list of duties will be seemingly endless – finding the right presents for loved ones, making time to see the entire family, not to mention coping with work and school closures.
With all that ahead, it makes sense to make your life easier wherever you can and plan in advance, starting with money. By starting to save up now for essential purchases as well as big expenses, you’ll have one less thing to worry about when the weight of Christmas is heavy on your shoulders.
With any luck, you’ll be able to relax, reflect, and enjoy being with your family – in other words, enjoy what Christmas is all about.
Saving for the long-term is easier than the short-term
It is fair to say that most people don’t find saving money much fun. In fact, the temptation to spend any extra funds on more immediate fun and fulfilment like a holiday is often too strong to ignore.
But that’s the beauty of saving for Christmas sooner rather than later. Because it’s so early on in the year, you can get away with setting aside an amount of money so small, you’ll barely notice it, and will still have a substantial Christmas fund by the time you need it.
Sure, you might have to say no to drinks with friends or dinner with your partner every once in a while, but it will undoubtedly be worth it when Christmas arrives and you have a bumper bank account to fall back on.
You can sign up for cash saving schemes early
Make the most of your local supermarket, which likely offers a Christmas saving scheme via their loyalty card offering.
Tesco offers a Christmas Saver option that turns your points into discount coupons to use in December, while Morrisons offers a stamp collecting system where spending a certain amount in store translates to money to use once the festive season arrives.
And if you need to borrow, you can do it sensibly
Sometimes, though, no matter how well we plan and save, we may need to borrow. If your Christmas savings are tied up in saving scheme you can’t use until December, that isn’t much help if an emergency hits in June. Finding yourself in a situation like this may cause panic when it comes to where the cash to cover the cost comes from.
There are a number of options available, from a 0% interest credit card to a loan amount that can be repaid over a period from the likes of small loans provider Sunny. It pays to do your research now, to find the best deal when it comes to borrowing, so perhaps look into your options now to ensure you’re prepared should you ever need to apply to borrow money.
So, get in the Christmas spirit early and start saving now, to benefit you and your entire family.