Christmas can be a stressful time for many households, with many Britons feeling pressure to spend more than they can afford on expensive gifts and festive treats. But Christmas spending doesn’t have to be stressful – Express.co.uk spoke to financial experts to learn the best ways to stay on budget in December.
Experts expect Britons to splurge on their festivities this year to make up for last year’s disappointing Christmas under pandemic restrictions.
Jo Thornhill, a money expert for MoneySuperMarket, said Express.co.uk that overall spending is expected to increase by 21% over last year.
Ms Thornhill added: ‘After a difficult two years where contact between family and friends has been limited, it’s no surprise that many are looking to the Christmas holidays with added excitement, but that doesn’t mean you have to ruin.
“If you’re worried about the impact Christmas might have on your finances, rest assured there are always more ways to save.”
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Savoo chief executive Ed Fleming said Express.co.uk“The best way to set a limit is to start by writing down where your money will go over the holidays, such as gifts, decorations, parties, dining out and travel.
“It will help you visualize where you need to allocate more money, as well as where you could reduce or reduce your expenses.
“It’s extremely important to write down small and minor costs such as public transport fares, as this can easily add up and eat into your bank account.”
Always overestimate your expenses to avoid any unpleasant surprises that could put you over budget this Christmas, for example, your energy bill will probably be more expensive than in previous months as the temperature drops.
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Shop for your gifts and stick to a list
To prevent your Christmas gift shop from spiraling out of control, Jo Thornhill recommends Brits create a hurried shopping list.
She recommends shoppers make a list of all the people they need to buy gifts for, then plan which gifts they need to buy for each person.
Be sure to stick to this list, as it will save you from overspending on products and gifts that you don’t need to buy.
If you plan ahead, you can take advantage of pre-Christmas sales like Black Friday on November 26 and Cyber Monday on November 29.
Be realistic – can you afford to increase Christmas spending this year?
Although it can be difficult to face, if you are having financial difficulties or are in debt, it is important to limit your expenses as much as possible to avoid escalating the situation and causing you more stress during the new year.
Makala Green, Certified Financial Planner and Founder of Green Wealth Planning, shared her insights with Express.co.uk.
She recommends that if money is tight, you should “communicate to your loved ones that the purse strings are tight this year and choose to buy gifts only for those who especially need them. People will understand and prefer that you don’t stress or go into debt rather than get a gift, no matter how amazing.”
For those in financial difficulty, Mr. Flemming advises: “You can also get creative and choose to make homemade gifts like gingerbread, Christmas cards and tree decorations for those for whom you have decided not to buy gifts for this year.