KIS Bridging Loans
Presented by KIS Finance

It’s no surprise that Christmas and the New Year tends to be the most expensive time of year for most people. Buying Christmas gifts, festive food, and paying for nights out and party outfits causes a lot of people to go over their monthly budget and start the new year in debt.

This guide will give you some hints and tips on ways you can stick to your budget and avoid overspending this Christmas.

Get organised to cut down the convenience costs

Life generally gets busier for a lot of people over the festive season with lots of family gatherings, parties and events to attend. This means it can sometimes be easier to choose more convenient, but pricier, options in a lot of situations.

Although some of these events can crop up last minute, getting organised and planning as much as possible in advance will really help your Christmas budget as it will save you having to cut corners and pay more when it comes to food, drinks, outfits, and gifts etc.

Some examples of how you can do this include;

  • Make meals and keep them in the freezer so you have quick meals ready in case something comes up in the evening and you need to eat before you go or whip something up for the kids! This will save you a lot of money on takeaways and convenience food.

  • Buy party outfits earlier on the year if you come across them in the summer or end-of-season sales.

  • Take hot drinks in a thermos and snacks when you’re out and about Christmas shopping. This will save the temptation of buying expensive coffees and snacks in cafes.

Use price-matching tools

Before you start any of your Christmas shopping, it’s very important that you do a price comparison, or a ‘price-match’. There are several tools online which can help you with this, or you can simply do it yourself by searching around the different retailers’ websites.

This will just make sure you are getting everything you want for the best price out there. Some retailers may have certain products on sale, and some may just be cheaper than others. Simply taking some time to do some research will mean that you can shop confidently, knowing that you’re not being ripped-off and spending more than you need to!

Leave the cards at home

When you spend using a card, especially a credit card, you can sometimes lose track of what you’re spending and little things that don’t seem much at the time start to build up. If you really want to stick to your budget, before you head out to do your Christmas shopping, take out what you want to spend in cash and leave the cards at home.

This way you literally cant spend any more than what’s it your purse/wallet and you can’t go over-budget.

Do a gift exchange

If you have a particularly large family or group of friends to buy for, the price of gifts can really add up even if you’re only buying something small for each person. If you’re in this situation, it may be worth considering a gift exchange. This would essentially work like Secret Santa where you put everybody’s name into a hat and you buy a gift just for the person you pick out.

This way, you can spend a bit more on that person than you would have been able to otherwise, so they get something they really want, whilst still staying under-budget for gifts.

Limit gifts for yourself

A big trend at Christmas is ‘self-gifting’ – buying presents for yourself when you’re shopping for other people. Although we should treat ourselves every now and again, if you’re really keen on sticking to your budget, you should try and limit this to just one thing over the festive season (and include this in your budget if you know this is something you’re likely to do.)

Be aware of retail tricks

We don’t just have ourselves to blame when it comes to overspending – retailers are very good at getting us to part with our money.

Flashy sales, incentives to come back into store, extended returns policies and interest-free credit are all ways in which retailers try to get us to spend more than we planned. If you can avoid these tricks and stick to your shopping list, you will really be doing yourself a favour!

Track your spending

One big factor which causes a lot of people to overspend during the Christmas period is a lack of tracking our spending. Keeping track of your finances is an essential for everyday life, but especially if you’re to avoid going over budget during the holidays.

You don’t need any fancy software to do this, just a simple pen and paper or the ‘notes’ section on your phone will work. Once you’ve been shopping, whether that’s for gifts, food or party outfits, just write down what you bought and how much each item cost, then compare this to your budget to make sure you’re still on track.

Being able to physically see the total you have spent so far will also help you to stay focused and avoid any surprises at the end of the month.



Find it useful? Please share!

Subscribe for Updates

We will email you monthly details of our latest:

  • Business and consumer guides
  • Finance news
  • Information and awareness about the latest frauds and scams, to help you avoid them.  
I want to receive email updates

By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice. You can opt out at any time.