Christmas can be an expensive time of year and, let’s face it, no one wants to end up with a New Year financial hangover following festive overspending. But over a quarter of us (28%) will overspend, with the debt lasting beyond March in the new year.
Yet despite a future of financial woes, it doesn’t stop us splashing the cash. Recently published research shows parents will spend £237.60 per child on presents this festive period, which, taking inflation into account, is a staggering £215million more than parents spent a generation ago.
Another new survey shows that British households are predicted to spend an average of £831 on Christmas this year, parting with an average of £493 on Christmas gifts for loved ones. Add to this an estimated £238 spend on festive food and drink for millions of households, and the numbers are really rather big.
So it’s no surprise that 40% of us have already admitted to increasing our Christmas budget this year and nearly a third (31%) still expect to overspend. In this very same study, almost half (47%) say they’ll simply spend too much.
But not without the worry of doing so. More than one in 10 say they lie awake at night worrying about Christmas costs and for a further 10%, it’s the first thing they think about when they wake up. 7% admit Christmas finances put a strain on relationships with friends and family.
What makes matters even worse, a third of us admit to not having learned from last year’s festive financial foibles and are getting involved in the same money misdemeanours again. In 2018, 36% of us carried over Christmas debt to the new year – 27% of this was credit card debt. A further one in 10 carried it over from loans or store cards.
Maybe this is why 59% of those questioned in a poll said they would cancel Christmas if they could. But what a shame as it really doesn’t have to be this way.
Fortunately, there are still many ways to manage your festive finances and keep control of Christmas costs. This starts with working out a careful budget to calculate exactly what you can, and cannot, afford this Christmas. It’s a simple step – that forms the basis of all of our branch-based customer meetings – but it really shouldn’t be overlooked.
Make a list and stick to it
Don’t plan the “perfect Christmas” and then work out how to pay for it. Instead, work out what you can afford and then ask yourself what is the best Christmas I can have with the money I have, and plan from there. Christmas is just one day. Don’t spoil 2019 for the sake of seasonal splurges. It’s just not worth it.
Try to keep present buying to a minimum
When we’re spending an average of almost £500 on loved ones this Christmas, a family Secret Santa is a brilliant way to keep expense to a minimum whilst having lots more festive fun with ‘the family’.
Lots of us want fun gifts, not expensive ones, and this approach will help save you money.
Give personal gift cheques
Presents don’t have to mean mega money. One easy idea to avoid over-budgeting is to give personal gift cheques. Download them here and sign yourself up to babysit, cook a meal or walk the dog for a week. It could be anything. What a wonderfully personal gift.
Make the most of them being little and save on the splurge
Little ones really don’t understand or value the cost of presents. They don’t care it cost £5 or £500. As the saying goes, they prefer the box to the present.
But rest assured, as they get older they will do so you’re better off saving the cash while you can.
Shop around for the tastiest deals
Shop around and take advantage of supermarket offers and ‘price wars’ in the run up to Christmas. There are some real savings to be had.
And be a yellow sticker hunter! Supermarkets often make final reductions on food that’s about to go out of date just before they close. By nipping in just before it closes, you could bag yourself a bargain. Discounts range from a few pence to more than 90%. Just check what can and can’t be frozen and again plan ahead for when you need it.
The best things in life are free
Christmas family fun really doesn’t have to be costly. Whether that’s driving around in the dark to look at the most lavish local lights and illuminations or just digging in to watch a Christmas movie together, you don’t have to splash a great deal of cash to put a smile of everyone’s faces. The true meaning of Christmas is about spending special time with loved ones, remember.
If you need debt help, don’t wait until January
Unfortunately, not everyone enjoys a merry Christmas. If you’re worried, stressing over or, even worse, ignoring financial problems, the best thing to do is to ask for advice now. The longer you leave it, the worse it gets.
An introduction to Everyday Loans
Everyday Loans in the UK’s largest specialist branch-based direct lender, with a rapidly expanding network of 65 branches. As a responsible lender, its expert customer account managers always try to meet customers face-to-face. They take time to understand their needs and financial situation on a human, personal level and are never judgemental and always confidential.
Conditional decisions are made within minutes of applying and the APR is determined on an individual level, dependent on each customer’s circumstances. Loan amounts range from £1,000 to £15,000 over an 18 to 60-month repayment period.
Everyday Loans has over 50,000 customers nationwide and that number is quickly growing.
It’s a trading style of Everyday Lending Limited and was established in 2006. It’s an independent lender owned by Non Standard Finance PLC. The company is committed to professional, responsible lending. It is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and a member of the Finance and Leasing Association.