With less than a week to go before Christmas, it’s likely that many of our budgets have already been squeezed by our seasonal spending.
Covering the cost of the festive season isn’t always easy, and with so many expenses toÂ take into account – from gifts and decorations to food and drink – it can be tempting toÂ borrow a bit of extra cash to give our budget a boost.
However, there are some ways you could do your final bits of Christmas shoppingÂ without overspending and going into debt.
Let’s look at some helpful tips for staying debt-free this December.
Tips for a debt-free Christmas
You could avoid getting into debt this Christmas by:
- Only taking the cash you can afford to spend when you go out shopping: leaveÂ your debit/credit cards at home and you won’t be tempted to spend more than youÂ know you can comfortably afford.
- Taking advantage of Christmas offers and promotions at the supermarket: ‘BOGOF’ and ‘2-4-1’deals could really save you money at the checkout.
- Setting yourself a realistic price limit for gifts: buying presents for family, friends and work colleagues can easily become a big expense. However, making (and sticking to) a budget for all your gifts means you shouldn’t end up spending moreÂ than you can afford – and could help you organise your shopping list a bit betterÂ too.
- Shopping at discount stores: you could find gifts, decorations, stocking-fillers, cutlery and food & drink there at knockdown prices.
- Looking online for presents. Many online shops offer Christmas deals and discounts – and you could find some serious bargains! What’s more, you may even be able to take advantage of free postage & packaging and gift wrapping at certain stores. Just make sure it’ll arrive on time before you order anything.
Are you already repaying debts?
Christmas can be a particularly tight time for those people already repaying debts. It’sÂ important that anyone currently repaying debts makes sure that they budget for theirÂ monthly repayments – on top of all their other living costs – and take steps to repay everything they owe sooner rather than later. In general, the sooner you repay a debt, the less interest you’ll pay (although some debts can’t be repaid earlier than agreed, or will charge a fee if they are).
If you’re having problems keeping on top of your monthly debt repayments, it’s importantÂ to get professional advice. You may be able to arrange a new repayment programmeÂ – such as a debt management plan – that could allow you to repay your debts at anÂ affordable pace. Alternatively, there may be another debt approach suitable for you – soÂ you can repay your debts realistically and get your finances back into shape.