How are you going to pay for Christmas?
With all this talk about heating, bills and heating bills, and with the end of October almost in sight, before we know it, we’ll be in November and the Christmas paraphernalia will be out in force. Along with all those extra costs to meet.
However, despite all-pervading economic gloom, rising inflation and stagnant wages, new research estimates that we will spend £2billion more on Christmas this year, than we did last year. But how are we going to pay for it?
With some evidence that we are regaining an appetite for credit, some people might be thinking of putting Christmas on plastic; Which! has even produced a handy guide to which credit cards might be most suitable for you depending on whether you want 0% interest, cashback or rewards. But what about those of us who would rather not go into the red?
Of course, the best time to think about saving for Christmas is directly after the last one, but failing that, there is still some time to put some money away. Supermarket savings stamps are a popular way to help defray the cost of an over-priced turkey. But what if you think you know how much you are going to spend, but somehow always end up short?
The Money Advice Service (remember Ma?) have now produced a pretty Christmas budget planner that has the added benefit of a countdown to Christmas, calculated to the second, should you require that level of accuracy. While it essentially deducts your Christmas expenses from your available cash, it does have a number of headings to try and make sure you think of all the extra yuletide expenses, including travelling costs, Christmas party costs and booze. The final result tells you (in advance) if you are likely to have a shortfall so that you can attempt to do something about it, but also splits your Christmas spend into a pie chart, so you can see what you are spending where. This is particularly useful if you need to cut back, as you can identify the areas where there might be room to manoeuvre. If you are spending more on alcohol and parties than on gifts you can
congratulate yourself on giving yourself a very festive season decide whether you want to reprioritise.
So will you be spending more on this Christmas than last year? And if so, how?