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Now most of us all love the spirit of Christmas. We love seeing the reactions of someone opening a gift that they have been wanting for a while, as well as the Christmas vibes around the table when eating Christmas dinner… but behind closed doors, not everyone might be happy. A lot of people dread the thought of Christmas and how much it is going to cost.

Not just the Christmas presents from Santa but the Christmas Dinner that everyone is expecting to be delicious and maybe any type of travelling that you might do at Christmas time. A lot of people worry not just before but also after Christmas as they are caught up in credit card interest and charges for borrowing money.

It can be very scary and overwhelming when you begin to write down and calculate how much it is looking to cost. This is why I am here to help, as best as I can, to give you some tips and hacks on how you can budget/save for Christmas. I am writing this article at the end of August… yes your right, I shouldn’t really be thinking this far ahead but I like to prepare in advance so that I do not need to panic and stress myself out.

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The average spend on Christmas per household is around £500-600. This figure can be quite overwhelming, I know. During the last-minute panic buys, it is very easy to spend around this or even more… especially using that credit card to get that instant access to that cash, which in some cases it can be tempting to buy that amazing gift for your daughter, however not realising you are creeping more and more to your credit card limit.

Your probably thinking, yes Talia I already have a budget that I try to stick to, so how is this going to help me? Well now make a list of family, friends and co-workers (of course for those little silly secret Santas).

Now once that list has been made simply write a pound/dollar or euro (or any currency) sign next to there name and begin to allocate an amount of your budget. I do this every year, and this allows me to also spend a fair and equal amount on certain people. This will also help you to calculate how much money you would need to put away each month.

Keeping an eye out for bargains around 3-4 months before Christmas will help you save on that Christmas budget of yours. Many shops will try to sneakily put those prices up. Companies know that you will be desperate to get that yellow top now, so they know that they will have a greater chance of you purchasing it due to the pressure of leaving it last minute. I’ll hold my hands up, I have done last minute shopping for Christmas, pretty much two days before Christmas and the pressure just amplifies like crazy compared to begin doing it months before. Did I end up spending more than planned when I left it to the last minute? Yes, I did and I have avoided doing this ever since.

Society has made us all feel like that Christmas gifts need to expensive to be worth it. Well, that’s not actually the case when you think about it differently. What happened to taking the time and effort to make a cute little personal hamper full of your sister’s favourite things (chocolate, bath bombs, nice smelling shower gel, face masks..the list goes on!). I am a strong believer that, time and effort are appreciated a lot more than the price tag of an object. Creating these hampers filled with £3-£4 little bits and bobs will also get you into that Christmas spirit!

It depends on what you mean by ‘easier’. Of course, using your credit card is easier than having to be strict with yourself when you get paid to put some money aside and save it for the coming months. Is it easier after Christmas in January when you are faced with those credit card statements of charges or fees?

I’m not saying do not use your credit card at all, credit cards are good for emergencies, or purchasing a good through your credit card which ensures you are extra protected with ‘your’ money. The reason why I say ‘your’ money is that, its actually truthfully the banks. The banks lend you money which is your credit card limit, whether it be £500 or £1000+. The banks let you use their money but it comes at a price if it is not paid in full and isn’t paid back on time (i.e the payment date).

The minimum payment which is also known as typically the interest is the payment that the bank will accept as a minimum offer to the balance that you owe on it. If you choose to not pay off the full amount (you are given an option to pay in full, or pay just the minimum amount) next month you will incur the minimum payment again plus the money you still owe the bank. This is a cycle, if that one month you can pay off in full (the £500) then your credit card balance will go back to zero (this obviously is based on if you haven’t spent any more money on that credit card).

Credit card interest rates can be really high. In simpler terms, you will have £500 (the amount you owed them at the start) which you can choose to pay off in full, or by the minimum payment. If you carry on paying the minimum payment and don’t choose to pay off the full amount then you still at the end of the day owe that £500 to the credit card company.

The whole point of me writing this article is to help you, widen your thoughts and see points from a different view. Saving, in general, is good to get used to regardless of Christmas approaching. It will give you freedom, and a sense of accomplishment as at the end of the day, those savings funds are your money!

That is all for now, my lovelies! Hope you found this article helpful, for now, take care!
Talia x

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