You’ve just about recovered from your Summer holiday, Autumn has only just begun but retailers are already reminding us that Christmas it’s on it’s way with seasonal gift aisles, adverts, offers and Christmas party reminders.

1 in 8 people will end up in debt as a result of over-spending at Christmas.

If you’re worried about exceeding your financial commitments over the next few months, here are my top money-saving tips.

Set a budget

How much is Christmas likely to cost you? How much did you spend last year and how much can you actually afford?

Plan aheadthink first, pay later. Rather than spending upfront and paying (heavily) for it later when you realise you’ve landed yourself in debt having put all your spending on your credit card and now you’re struggling to pay it back.

Start saving NOW!

When you put aside regular savings over the course of the year, you can spread the cost of Christmas and avoid taking ONE BIG HIT in December/January. Yes, use your credit cards but don’t put yourself into debt as a result. Only buy what you can afford.

Plan ahead – setting aside a few pounds every week and you can build up a good amount to put towards food or presents. Your morning latte between now and Christmas could create £175-£200.

Where are you going?

Home or abroad. With family and friends. If you’re going away and haven’t done so already – book now. Prices are usually more expensive over the key holiday dates and likely to increase for the festive period.

It’s a good opportunity to get away from it all – whether you have a stay-cation or go abroad. Let someone else take the strain and stress out of Christmas. 

Plan ahead – take advantage of advanced booking deals on flights, trains and bus journeys before prices go up the closer it gets.

Everything in moderation

Easier said than done, as we all tend to over-indulge at Christmas with parties, celebrations and seasonal treats. We buy enough food to feed a small nation and end up eating far too much – often just because it’s there, not because we’re hungry.

Plan ahead – plan your meals, get creative with leftovers.

Set limits

On the amount you spend and the number of Christmas presents. It takes more thought and creativity to come up with the ‘right’ present rather than just throw money at it.

Don’t buy expensive presents you really can’t afford or ‘token’ gifts people don’t want, just because you feel you ‘should’.

Ask. What do they really want? Christmas lists may take some of the surprise out of unwrapping a gift but at least you know they’re receiving something they actually want.

Plan ahead – Write up a gift list for when you go shopping and stick to it.

Advanced planning ahead – Buy suitable presents when you see them. Bargains in Summer sales, Black Friday or even the January Sales if you’re really into advanced planning. Avoid the stress and crush of a last minute shopping! Don’t you envy the people who have bought and wrapped their Christmas presents before Summer is even over? No, I’m not one of them!

Start thinking about and planning for Christmas now and avoid the last minute rush, panic and stress of Christmas and the arrival of the credit card bills in January.

Need to organise your life for a more relaxed Christmas?  Get in touch and arrange time for a chat.