How to Financially Survive the Festive Season

christmas budget planning

We have reached that time of the year once again, when festivities take over and for many, financial common sense seems to go out the window.  According to The Bank of England, a typical household in the UK spends on average almost £740 more in December than any other month of the year.

If you want to reach the other side of the festive season without racking up massive amounts of Christmas debt, here are 8 suggestions to keep you on the straight and narrow this December.


Set a limit for how much you are going to spend and stick to it.  Decide upfront what you can afford to spend on gifts, food, Christmas décor and festivities and do not deviate from this amount.

Track your spending

Setting a budget for yourself before the start of the festive season only works if you actually keep track of what you are spending during the month.  Record your expenses against your budget each time you spend, so you do not end up overspending and ruining this month’s, and next month’s budget.

Rein in other spending

We know that Christmas is expensive and after a long and arduous year like 2021, we all want to splash out and spoil ourselves and our loved ones – but where does that money come from?  If you have been shopping all year or stashing cash into a Christmas savings account, you might be set.  If not, you will have to find that money somewhere else.  The best and easiest way to do this is to move money around in your budget – spending less on some categories in December to make up for the extra Christmas costs.

Shop early

Do not wait for Black Friday to start Christmas shopping – look for sales all year long. When you are mindful of your list throughout the year, you will spread out both the spending and the stress that goes with Christmas shopping.  If you have missed the chance this year, remember it in January, when you are budgeting for the next Christmas season.

Use old gift cards

Think about all the money you have left on old gift cards, as well as the cards you will never use because they are to places you never shop, eat or visit.  Use them to buy presents, or regift the cards to people who will appreciate them.

Live by the list

Most of us have an idea of what we want to buy our friends and loved ones for Christmas.  Create a list of these and stick to the list while shopping.  When you go off the list, you overspend, as it is so easy to get caught up in the Christmas spirit and start buying every snowflake-themed item for every person you have ever met.

Go in on a group gift

A bigger, more expensive gift can be an option, even if you are on a budget.  Get your siblings in on buying one big gift for your parents, instead of each of you buying separate gifts.

Have a virtual party

If you cannot be home for Christmas this year, a virtual party is a budget-friendly way to still celebrate the season. So, put on that ugly Christmas jumper and group call your friends and family, because ‘tis the season to be jolly, even if it looks a little different this year.

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