It's a LONG time til January from around the middle of December..
Christmas is the hardest time of year to budget, but it's a really important time to budget as well - but it's tough with presents to buy, nights out and Christmas entertaining at home and many of us are left just before New Year with empty wallets and New Year's Eve parties to organise. Don't let this be you this year!
Just follow our handy guide to how to make your December paypacket last through until January, knowing you can relax and enjoy the holidays!
Make a budget NOW for presents, nights out and entertaining at home
December pay day, for many, is coming up – start as you mean to go on by writing down all of your incomings and outgoings, your Christmas list and all the nights out you'll need to pay for between now and New Year.
It’s time to get really honest with yourself. If your weakness is clothes, avoid the high street. If you love buying food, get your partner to do the big shop. Take away temptation and you’ll have nothing to spend money on.
Don't let Christmas food shopping break the bank
An obvious one but, if you can, stay away from stores altogether. But if you have to, do it online
Make a list and get on and offline as quickly as possible. Because you’re not actually seeing the items, you’ll be less likely to chuck unnecessary buys into your virtual shopping bag.
Pay in cash
When you pay on card, it can take a couple of days for the money to actually leave your account. Because of this, you might end up thinking you have more than you do
Don't spend all of your money on gifts
Cut down on travel costs
If you’re one of the lucky ones who gets a couple of weeks off at Christmas, don’t buy a monthly or weekly travel cards. It will usually work out cheaper to buy on the day - and book ahead if you're getting trains or flights because it's the most expensive time of the year to travel.
Rent out a room
It might be a bit late now, but you never know. If you have a spare room, advertise it to friends and family on Facebook or join Air BNB. More than likely someone will have a guest travelling down to spend the holidays with them, and you could end up making some cash by giving them a bed.
Make your own Christmas gifts and decorations
Get creative and make your own Christmas presents. Not only is it more thoughtful, it will save you bundles in the long run. Think cakes and treats, knitted items, candles, bath bombs – the world is your oyster.
You can also make your own gorgeous Christmas decorations for the house; these also make pretty gifts.
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