How to budget for Christmas

With Christmas right around the corner, there has never been a better time to look at your spending.

Setting a budget for the festive period can be tricky but Logbook Loan provider Auto Advance have outlined some top tips for not only setting a budget but sticking to it.

Setting a budget

Firstly look at what you need for Christmas, gifts, food, decorations etc. Prioritise them. The core of your budget should be based on the absolute essential items.

Once you know how much all the essential items are likely to cost look at how much you can afford to spend towards them, either as a portion of a monthly salary or a weekly figure.

This should be a sensible figure; something that means you can put money aside while also covering the costs of bills and other common costs that would be present with or without it being Christmas.

Make sure you give yourself some wiggle room on this figure too, particularly as some prices can fluctuate over Christmas depending on retailers, items and how close to Christmas you are.

Remember:

  • Some items like chocolates or wine can be bought well in advance
  • Keep an eye out for special offers and deals in the run up to Christmas
  • Set a sensible budget that won’t leave you struggling financially

 

How to stick to a budget

It can be really easy to use “It’s Christmas” as an excuse to go a bit overboard.

Keeping that urge to go over the top in check is really tricky at this time of year but it can save a lot of financial difficulty in the long run.

It isn’t so much a case of being strict but being sensible with what you buy. A budget shouldn’t make life difficult or make you feel like you are missing out on things, careful budgeting just means showing restraint in certain areas. Forgoing the occasional take-away or night out in order to have more money for the Christmas period for example.

The key to a Christmas budget is understanding that due to the time of year there will be a slight hit to your finances regardless of what you do. The key is giving you time to financially recover. This means resisting the call of the Boxing Day sales and relaxing at home, instead of spending more.

Going into the sales often means you are armed with vouchers from relatives and many people don’t realise how much they wind up spending when they use the voucher, then put some of their own money towards a purchase too.

If you aren’t mindful your careful budgeting up until Christmas Day can come unstuck. The whole point of Christmas is to enjoy yourself and spend time with friends and family. Putting a sensible budget in place can help you enjoy Christmas more knowing that you are in better financial shape going into the New Year.