It’s no secret that Christmas is one of the most expensive times of the year, but that doesn’t mean you have to get caught out by creeping Christmas spend. Budgeting early pays off, so stay a step ahead with these quick Christmas tips….
1. Start early
Most of the experts agree – the sooner you can get started, the more control you’ll have over your Christmas spending. First thing’s first: map out what you can afford now, well ahead of time. Then you’ve got a budget to work with and lots of time to plan.
2. Budget in a way that works for you
Everyone’s relationship with money is different, so it’s important to budget in a way that works for you. Whether that’s setting one big budget and tracking what you have left to spend as you get closer to Christmas, or getting detailed with lots of smaller budgets like groceries and gifts, just pick your targets and get started.
3. Find the right tools to keep you on track
Once you’ve decided on your budgeting style, use the right tools to keep you on track. You can use Yolt for free to kickstart your Christmas planning: Get started with your seasonal spending Guide, set some budgets for your top festive categories, and, if you want to work with a top-level budget, set your Total Balance so you know your spending power across your accounts.
4. Be mindful of splitting your Christmas expenses across different accounts
It’s really common to split the costs of Christmas across different accounts and credit cards, but don’t lose track of what you’ve spent and where. If you're using different accounts, try syncing them in Yolt ahead of the festive season, so it’s easy to see your total Christmas outgoings and stay on track from the get go.
5. Get your family and friends involved early on
The last thing you want is to derail your budgeting plan because of unexpected obligations or a serving of Christmas guilt. Be open with family and friends about your Christmas budgeting plans. Have a big family? Suggest a Secret Santa. Feeling creative? Why not try a year of homemade gifts!
6. Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’
Here’s a tough one all year, let alone the season of festive parties, drinks, and fairs. If your calendar’s already starting to fill up, set a budget for Christmas socialising. Be selective about what you really want to do and enjoy the ones that matter most. Don’t be afraid to suggest wallet-friendly alternatives – you’re probably not the only one sticking to a budget!
7. Set and visualise a Christmas saving goal
Speaking of savings… 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 use a money app, there’s nothing like checking in and seeing your savings on the rise.
Bonus tip: Did you know you can rename your accounts synced with Yolt? Rename it whatever you like this festive season, and get a boost of excitement every time you login!
8. Set a monthly target to save for a snowy day
Going over budget comes all too easily at Christmas. Cue: backup savings! Start by setting a target amount that you'd like to save each month, just for emergency reserves.You can easily do this with Yolt's Left to spend tile. Set a target below your month salary, including any upcoming debits. Any money left over at the end of the month can go into your emergency savings. Even a small amount each month could go a long way if your Christmas spending throws you a curve ball. And even if it doesn’t, you can start the New Year with your best foot forward!
9. Organise your Christmas spending with in-app tags
Take your festive budgeting a step further with Yolt tags. If you’d like to track your total spend across multiple categories, use a tag to track exactly how much you’ve spent on all things #Christmas. On the other hand, you can use tags to focus on the details, so you know how much of your Shopping budget has gone to #GiftsForMum vs. #GiftsForDad.
10. Look for better deals if you’re sending money abroad
At Christmas, sending money abroad can be more important than ever. But whether you’re sending a small amount or a big chunk of change, the last thing you want is to overspend on 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 on a cosy staycation over the Christmas period? Chances are you’ll have the heat and electricity on for longer than usual. Think about switching to efficient bulbs and getting your winter jumpers and blankets out of storage – ahead of the season. For an even larger budget boost, look into switching energy providers ahead of the winter chill. You can easily compare energy deals with Yolt via our Runpath connection!
12. Keep your cool
Christmas is supposed to be a positive time of year, so don’t let your budgets stress you out. Check in on them every week so nothing snowballs. Are you overspending on gifts, decorations, parties? Rein in it a bit or reassess your other budgets, you can always be flexible and do a little budget shuffling. Remember: Do your best, but don’t forget to have fun!