How to keep your finances in check this Christmas

Now more than ever it’s important to keep an eye on your finances at Christmas, with these 5 tips you’ll be able to make your most out of your money this festive period without breaking the bank.

1. Recognise your spending habits

There’s no other time of the year where your spending habits are exacerbated as much as Christmas. Whether you overshop or buy the first thing you see, taking charge of your spending habits has never been more important than at Christmas. Take time to think about your festive purchases and put money aside specifically to spend on Christmas, this way you’ll always have enough money to cover the essentials.

2. Set a budget

So once you’ve recognised your spending habits how do you keep them in check? This all comes down to a good budget. Figuring out how much you want to spend on Christmas then staying organised and strict with yourself is key to not overspending.

It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of Christmas spending but whether you use a pen and paper, an app or an excel sheet it’s important to have a budget and to stick to it. There are a few different budgeting techniques you could try, have a read of our favourites here.

3. Start early 

Starting your Christmas preparations early is an easy way to make sure your finances don’t get overwhelmed by the time the festive period rolls around. Instead of panic buying all the food and gifts in the run-up to Christmas spread the cost and start stocking up earlier. Some people even start as early as January, to make the most of the post-Christmas sales.

No matter how early you start, spreading the cost over a few pay cycles rather than just one is a sure fire way to keep your finances in check.

4. Regular check-ins

It’s easy to get swept up in the hustle and bustle of the busy Christmas period and that’s ok we all deserve it. But as the mindset of ‘oh well it’s Christmas’ kicks in your spending can quickly run away from you. Regular check-ins on your spending involve sitting down and looking at your finances. Lots of us don’t want to do this at Christmas, but this way you can accurately keep an eye on your spending and understand whether or not you need to adjust your plans accordingly.  

5. Saving for the new year

We’ve all had one of those unbreakable piggy banks full of pennies but now saving your pennies has gone digital. If you are a shift worker with Wagestream you can save the ‘extra pennies’ worked from a shift straight into savings pots, so you can start to build up a savings buffer for Christmas and beyond.