They say it's the most wonderful time of the year, but it is also one of the most expensive. So how can you cut back on spending without looking like the Grinch? It can be easy - if you know how.
Follow our top tips to watch your spending and get ready to enjoy a less stressful holiday period.
Set yourself a budget, and stick to it
Before the sound of Mariah Carey fills the radio waves, it's important to sit down and make a financial plan.
Whether on your laptop, smartphone or notepad, make a note of how much money you have to spend on Christmas. Think about all aspects of the season: travel, gifts, decorations, food and activities. From here, divide your total budget accordingly until you feel confident that each category has enough money to see you through the season.
Refer back to your notes when needed, as this will ensure you're not cash strapped when the new year comes around, and you'll have more time to spend enjoying yourself, and less time worrying!
Don't buy things just because they're 'on sale'
To avoid falling into money woes at what is supposed to be the happiest time of the year, people may look to save more by targeting sales. Especially with so many enticing opportunities to buy something with a slashed price tag, like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or even the Boxing Day sales after the big day.
While sales may seem like a cheaper option, the excitement of seeing discounted products causes people to spend more on goods they don't necessarily need. Instead, avoid distraction by making a list and sticking to it.
Try your hand at DIY gifts
If you're looking to significantly cut back on spending this Christmas, why not get a little crafty and make your own gifts? You don't need to possess the artistic talent of Picasso either. This can involve anything from baking edible treats, creating a custom canvas or filling a small hamper with personalised treats.
Not only is this more thoughtful, creating your own gifts often costs a lot less than shop-bought versions. It's also a fun way to involve the little ones too!
Remember what this time of year is really about
We like to fill our lives with 'stuff' but at the end of the day, this holiday period is about being with the people we love and enjoying eachother's company. So next time you're at the shops looking for that one last gift - take a step back and ask yourself if you really need it.
Spend sensibly with the myBOQ app
With a savings account on the myBOQ app, you can track your spending, set a budget, and have up to nine separate savings accounts - perfect for keeping a lid on that gift-giving budget.
Day2Day Plus Account
Our most popular everyday bank account with no fees. Apply online for our no monthly fee bank account.