7 Tips to Plan for Christmas
14th October 2020
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Do you feel like Christmas has come around earlier than normal? Our research shows that Christmas is a time of anxiety and financial stress and this year is no different. Given everything that is going on, discussing and planning for Christmas early could help to reduce the potential financial strain, while making Christmas 2020 one to remember for all the right reasons.
You may have started your shopping already. This is good and can help to spread the cost of the festive season. It’s important that you are keeping a list of what you have bought to add to your overall plan. Haven’t made a plan? Start one now – it is not too late to put a plan in place. To help with this, we have pulled together our Twelve Steps of Christmas Factsheet ↗ with planner.
Read on for tips and advice on how to make the most of the festive season.
- Make a list of what you need to buy for Christmas and use this to create a Christmas budget. Divide the list into five categories.
- Unexpected last-minute expenses
- Join Christmas saving clubs or save cash-back vouchers from supermarkets to put towards Christmas food shopping (Remember you can do this all year round, so maybe think about it for next year too!)
- Keep to your list and don’t be tempted by sales or special offers on other items. Remember, it is not a deal if you don’t need it!
- Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become popular days for instore or online sales – but sales often start before this and can continue into December.
- Check delivery times for items bought online and the return or exchange policy. Be aware of your rights and entitlements when shopping online within the EU. Check out the Citizens Information page on Shopping Online (opens in new window)
- Keep all receipts together – you may need to create a separate folder in your email inbox to save all emailed receipts.
- Avoid putting purchases on stores cards, credit cards or paying by instalment – they may cost you more in the long run.
- Check out the terms and conditions on any items you purchase through ﬁnance or ‘ﬂexi-rent’ arrangements.
- Remember the shops only close for one or two days over Christmas, so there is no need for the bigger than normal shop, aside from the Christmas Dinner – again making a list can help here. Buy small amounts of non-perishable items each week to add to the Christmas treats.
- Before you borrow, look again at your list – have you prioritised your purchases?
Make memories. Get the kids involved and make learning fun. Instead of spending money on store bought cards or gifts, spend a day or two over a weekend to make Christmas cards or baked goods like cookies with the kids. Get everyone involved and send the homemade cards and gifts to family and friends.
Planning ahead can mean that Christmas is manageable and enjoyable for everyone, including you. Start planning today by making out a list of what you need to plan for and a spending budget. Planning now will help to reduce financial surprises.
You can contact your local MABS office , chat through our live chat or call the MABS Helpline on 0761 07 2000, Monday to Friday, from 9am to 8pm or you can check the MABS News Feed for further updates and guidance.