Christmas is probably my favourite time of the year, but I do find parts of it pretty stressful too.
After having a credit card Christmas once and being completely broke in the attempt to pay it off in the new year, I vowed we’d never, ever be in that position again.
So now, we save money throughout the year towards Christmas. I started off doing a £1 a day challenge I saw on a forum. The plan was to start it on 1st January and continue all the way through to 30th November. By the end of it you should have saved over £300. All well and good but with 3 children that was never going to cut it!
In the end, I started stashing my extra income as and when I could. I’m with Nationwide and you can have as many instant savings accounts as you want and call them whatever you like. I opened a new one and called it “Christmas”. Every time we got a little extra money or didn’t spend all of our weekly budget, I’d add the money to that account.
I’ve now got £700 in the Christmas account which I’m pretty chuffed about! I’ve also been saving up points on various loyalty cards. I had £10 of Tesco clubcard vouchers (we hardly ever shop at Tesco), they went towards our youngest’s present which came last week. He’s had a Little Tikes Cozy Coupe police car. So that only cost £29 after their discount and the clubcard points. I paid for it from our weekly budget too so didn’t touch the Christmas fund. I’ve also changed the settings on my Morrison’s More card so that I don’t automatically get a £5 voucher when I hit 5,000 points. Now I’m saving my points until closer to Christmas to use on the Christmas food and drink shop. I’ve got around £12 worth so far, not a lot but I didn’t change the settings until a month or so ago.
Christmas is all about planning. Work out early on in the year who you will buy presents for and how much you’re prepared to pay for them. Make a rough estimation of the amount of money you’ll need for food, drinks and nights out too. Then work out how much you need to save each day/week (whichever works best for you), set aside a savings account or a piggy bank if you prefer to use cash. Then don’t touch it until Christmas!