Guest post – How to Save For Christmas with a Family
Now that the rain and cold temperatures of winter are upon us, it means that Christmas is only around the corner. Contrary to popular belief, it’s never too early to start planning or buying for Christmas – it’s not a cheap holiday to get through every year! This is especially apparent for families with children. Here are a few tips to help you plan and budget for any Christmas.
The first, and of course best, way to afford Christmas is to save. Every month, set aside £50-£100 from your pay check into an account specifically labelled ‘Christmas’. Seeing the money accumulate each month until November/December will be satisfying, knowing that you can afford it all. It even means that your Christmas bonus doesn’t get spent as soon as you get it!
If you start your shopping in October or November, keep saving! You’ve still got the dinner and the decorations to pay for later on in the year.
Christmas Savings Schemes
Temptation often stops personal savings from growing. If the money is just sitting there, it’s very tempting to spend it. For those who have trouble saving, try a Christmas savings scheme. These are companies to whom you pay a fixed sum each month to save up for Christmas that year, in the form of vouchers or purchases made through their own catalogue. There are several around, so it’s best to look at what they all offer, as each company deals with it in different ways.
Be careful though, as there is a lack of guarantee. Farepak ran a Christmas club and hamper business, but collapsed in 2006. Customers who had saved with them received only a fraction of what they had saved. Although this is a rare occurrence, be aware of the terms and conditions you get into.
Buy throughout the year
Instead of saving the money and buying in bulk, it can be better for you to buy the gifts during the year. If you know that your family want expensive electrical gadgets (which are becoming more evident on Christmas wish lists), then buy them gradually through the months. You’ll be able to keep an eye on your finances and stop them from taking a dip in the winter.
Tastes do change though. Be aware that some family members may be fickle with their wants, and purchases made earlier in the year will be obsolete. Birthdays in the middle of the year can also be a hassle, as it limits the time you can buy in advance.
Whatever your preference in regards to savings, there are many techniques, schemes, and solutions that will suit anybody. Managing money when you have a family to support, no matter how big or small, can sometimes be stressful. You can make it easier by following one of these steps or seeking professional advice from your bank.