10 Sep 2020 • 5mins • Gemma Fisher

The 12 saves of Christmas: You could save time, energy and money with these top tips

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A woman is Christmas shopping online from her living room with her Yolt Card.
Christmas shopping and budgeting can be a cinch with Yolt

Christmas is one of the most expensive times of the year – but that doesn’t mean you have to get caught out by a festive spending. Budgeting pays off, so stay a step ahead with these helpful holiday tips.

1. Start early

The experts agree – the sooner you can get started, the more control you’ll have over your Christmas spending.

First things first: map out what you can afford, well ahead of time. Then you’ve got a budget to work with and lots of time to plan.

2. Make your budget work for you

Everyone’s relationship with money is different, so budget in a way that works for you. It could be setting one big budget and tracking what’s left to spend as Christmas gets closer – or making lots of smaller budgets for groceries and gifts.

Just pick your targets and get started.

3. Find tools to keep you on track

Once you’ve perfected your budgeting style, the right tools could keep you on track.

Why not kickstart your Christmas planning with Yolt? Add your festive budgets for your top categories, set yourself a Christmas Goal and then save while you spend with your Yolt Card.

4. Be mindful of splitting your Christmas expenses across different accounts

Lots of people split the cost of Christmas across different accounts and credit cards – but don’t lose sight of what you’ve spent (and where).

Connect your accounts up to Yolt before the holiday season to track all your Christmas outgoings and stay on budget. Smart.

5. Get your family and friends involved

The last thing you need derailing your budgeting plans are unexpected obligations.

Be open with your friends and family about your efforts. Have a big brood? Suggest Secret Santa. Feeling creative? Try making gifts this year.

Don't know how to start the money conversation with your loved ones? Use our Real Talk conversation starters to get you going.

6. Don’t be afraid to say "no"

Saying “no” is tough all year round – festive parties, drinks and fairs aside. So be selective about what you want to do and enjoy the ones that matter most.

Setting a “Christmas socialising” budget could help if your calendar’s filling up. And don’t be afraid to suggest wallet-friendly alternatives – you’re probably not the only one watching their wallet.

7. Set a Christmas saving Goal

If you’re building up your Christmas fund, do yourself a favour and set a Goal. Whether you write it down in your budget spreadsheet or add one in Yolt, there’s nothing like checking in and seeing your savings grow.

Bonus tip: Did you know you can rename accounts connected to Yolt? Call it whatever you like this festive season, and get that holiday-hype every time you log in.

8. Save for a snowy day

Blowing budgets is easy at Christmas – cue backup savings!

The Money Jar Challenge could help you save £416 a year* - the perfect rainy snowy day fund. Best thing is, with your Yolt Account, you can save while you spend. Just top up your prepaid Yolt Card, turn on Jar Boosters, and build up your emergency reserves while you shop for Christmas.

Even if you don’t end up needing your snowy day fund, you can start the New Year with your best saving-foot forward.

9. Organise your Christmas spending

Take your festive budgeting a step further with tags. If you want to track your total spend across multiple categories, use a tag to track exactly how much you’ve spent on all things #Christmas. Or you could use tags to focus on the details, so you know how much of your budget has gone to #GiftsForMum or #GiftsForDad.

10. Sending money abroad? Get a better deal

At Christmas, sending money abroad can be more important than ever. But whether you’re transferring a pocket change or a big cheque, the last thing you want is to be clobbered by hidden fees.

Check-in ahead of time, so you can keep an eye out for good rates.

11. Get smart with your electricity and gas

Planning a cosy Christmas staycation? You’ll probably have the heat and electricity running for longer than usual. Think about switching to efficient bulbs (and getting your winter jumpers out of storage) to cut the cost.

For an even bigger budget boost, think about switching energy providers ahead of the big chill. You can easily compare deals with MoneySuperMarket through Yolt.

12. Keep your cool

Christmas is supposed to be a magical time of year – so don’t get stressed by budgets. Check in on them every week so nothing snowballs.

Overspending on gifts, decorations and parties? Rein it in a bit – or be flexible, reassess and do a little budget shuffling.

Do your best, but remember to have fun and you’ll have Christmas, cracked.

*Yolt users who complete the default £8/week Money Jar Challenge save £416 over the course of the year.