What's your budget this Christmas?
Published 30 October 2012 by Helen Gradwell
With the average Christmas spend set to hit £526 this year, we offer tips for staying on top of your finances this festive season.
Money may be tight for many at the moment, but almost half of people in Britain aren't planning to cut back this year when it comes to Christmas gifts. In fact, we plan to spend an average of £526 on festivities, according to research by HSBC.
People plan to spend an average of £347 on gifts for their family and an extra £179 on food, drink and other entertainment.
35-44 year olds plan on spending the most (£633) - as many will be buying gifts for their children. Some (17%) do plan on spending less than last year, though - especially women (20%) and those in South East England (22%).
Even though many aren't going to scrimp when it comes to gifts, this doesn't mean that they aren't trying to get the best value for their money. People plan to do this by:
- Using discount codes or vouchers (31%)
- Cashing in retailer reward points (29%)
- Crossing some people off their Christmas presents list (12%)
- Giving homemade presents (9%)
- Recycling presents they've received in previous years (7%)
- Giving second hand items (5%)
So how are people planning to fund Christmas? 65% are planning to fund it straight from their salary (or other income), and 38% plan to dip into their savings. 17% will borrow money from one source or another.
An expert from thinkmoney said: "People seem to be pretty savvy when it comes to getting value for money with discount codes and loyalty points.
"No matter how much or little you're planning to spend this Christmas, it can really help to work out a budget. Look at the money you have available from your income - or from your savings if you're willing to use them. Think about who you're going to buy presents for and work out a 'maximum spend' on each. If you've got a particular item in mind, there are loads of ways to compare prices and find great deals on the internet.
"Cashback websites can really help you make the most of your money - especially when combined with other discounts and sales. The thinkmoney rewards portal, for instance, actually pays thinkmoney Current Account holders to shop at hundreds of online stores, if the purchase is made with their thinkmoney Debit MasterCard®.
"When it comes to food, drink and other entertainment, it'll really help to know about events in advance. That way you can decide how much you're going to spend at each - and only take that amount with you if you know you'll be tempted to spend more.
The thinkmoney Current Account is a practical partner for anyone trying to budget, as money for bills is automatically put to one side at the start of each month, leaving you with only the money you can safely afford to spend as you wish. Along with the rewards scheme, it could be the perfect account to help you to manage your money, even during expensive periods like Christmas.
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Apply for a thinkmoney Current Account today.
"Ultimately, Christmas is a time for celebration. Many actually save all year so that they can really splash out. It doesn't matter whether you spend £526 - or even more - as long as you know it won't put you in financial difficulty in the future."