With Christmas fast approaching you may be wondering how to make those pennies stretch further. There are plenty of tips to help rein in the costs and we have put together five, to help prevent you from over spending this Christmas.
Research by National Debtline showed that 35% of Britons were borrowing to pay for presents. If you have a large group of friends or family, then organising a secret Santa is a great option. You are only buying one present rather than many.
Don’t know how secret Santa works?
Everyone in the group places their name in a hat, each person picks one of the names and then they buy that person a gift. No one is supposed to know who is buying for whom. Usually a gift price is determined, so everyone is spending the same.
Write a List (and check it twice)
Write a list of each relative, friend, child you are buying for and determine a present cost for each person. If the total amount is too much for your budget this year, then you can always take a look at the list and see where you can reduce the amounts to be spent.
Don’t buy yourself a present
You know how it can be when shopping for presents; you spot the perfect gift set, jeans, lipstick or shirt for yourself. Resist the urge to treat yourself. If you are still dreaming about the item(s) in a few weeks’ time, you can always go back and get it, you never know, it might have dropped in price in the January sales.
It’s well known how the Armed Forces like to celebrate this season with lots of parties, mess dos, wives do, dine outs, not to mention spouse work Christmas parties as well as friend meet ups. It’s a time that can drain the finances. So think smart and don’t spend money on expensive cocktails, Champagne and spirits, choose cheaper options like wine, beer and Prosecco and only take cash with you on the night, as then you can stick to your budget you have pre-set for the evening.
Also ladies, it’s time to raid the wardrobes for your mess dresses, you might find one you had forgot about and might want to wear this year, but if you don’t want to wear any, an idea would be to sell them on second hand groups or sites like Ebay, Vinted, or Facebook groups like forces Sweethearts or messed up. Also while you are on these groups, take a look at what is available, as you may be able to bag a bargain instead of buying a brand new dress. You could even sell it back on the site next year.
And lastly, please use your Military discount whenever you shop. Be it via, Forces Rewards or Defence Discount Services online using their online discount codes or in shops, restaurants and cinemas by asking if they do military discount. Usually, if they do discount, they will require seeing your MOD90 card, but it is always worth asking and those pennies saved will soon turn into pounds.
If you haven’t already, download our FREE monthly budget planner which will help you keep a track of your finances every month, but also allow you to easily create a Christmas budget which is affordable.
If you would like further advice around your finances, or help with budgeting, then why not get in touch with us, and one of our friendly advisors will be happy to help. You can call us on 0330 3322 614 (local rate) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.