10 Sep 2020 • 4mins • Fonk

How to budget and save for Christmas - starting in October

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We know, we know - it’s early October! Why are we talking about getting ready for Christmas already? But hear us out.

This year has been a tough one, and it comes as no surprise that many people are looking forward to some festivities this Christmas - a recent study of over 8000 people found that 70% plan on spending about the same amount this Christmas as last year. If this sounds like you, and you're looking for some ways to help you free up money and save, here are a few things you can do to get your finances in order in the run up to the big day...

1. Set a realistic weekly saving target

It might not cover all your Christmas costs, but putting away between £20 to £30 a week between now and the big day could build you a nice little pot of around £300. That £300 takes a nice chunk out of the extra £800 that households tend to spend over the festive period.

Take a look at this handy Christmas budget planner to forecast your savings and see how much you could put away in time for Christmas!

2. Set your budgets ahead of time

There’s no one-size-fits-all way to budget, so make sure you find a method that works for you. Whether that’s setting up an overall Christmas budget or breaking it down into smaller categories like groceries and gifts, just make sure you have a plan in place to track your spending - and that you stick to it! Be realistic in what you can afford.

3. Stick to your list!

Make a list ahead of time of what you need for Christmas, covering everything from food and decorations to gifts and games.

Take a step back and think about what you actually need, and what your gift recipients actually want, away from all the other distractions on the high street. You’re more likely to get things that they (and you) will be happy with.

4. Get the right tools

Once you’ve decided on your Christmas budget, you need the right tools to keep you on track! With Yolt you can set budgets and tag purchases so you can see exactly where your money is going. You can set budgets in Christmas related categories - like shopping or groceries - and tag any extra spend as #Christmas, so you can check your spending at a glance. Find out how to set up budgets in your app here.

5. Know when to say no

Just because it’s Christmas doesn’t mean you have to go all out on everything, whether that comes to dinners out with friends or festivities at home. It’s all about quality, not quantity, so pick the things that are most important to you and try to commit to those only.

6. Get creative

Christmas is the season of giving - not buying! If money is a little tight when it comes to gifts, try exchanging something homemade (put that Bake Off inspiration to good use!), or get a group together for Secret Santa with an agreed budget limit.

7. Spend time, not money

There are loads of free and low cost things you can do in the run up to Christmas to get you in the festive spirit! If you have kids, why not get them to write a letter to Santa? If you post it by December 6, Santa might even write back

Take a walk around your village or town and take a look at all the lights - there are always a few people who really go for it and have full light shows around their houses! Or if you’d rather stay in, get yourself a hot chocolate and make the most of all the classic Christmas films that are played on rotation this time of year.

Getting together ? Whether that's at home or via video call, why not host a game night! There’s nothing more Christmassy than a game of charades after a couple of mulled wines.

Ultimately Christmas time is all about our loved ones - not stressing about money! Yolt makes it easier to keep an eye on your spending so that you can focus on having fun this festive season. Check out more of our tips for saving this Christmas.