Christmas brings with it festive mood, celebrations, and undoubtedly, expenses. With that long-list of presents and gifts, you need to spend a considerable amount of money to keep up with the joy of celebrations. You will see retailers putting up sparkling and glittering Christmas advertisements on billboards and everywhere. It’s that time of the year when we cook the perfect Christmas turkey, bake our cakes with fruits brimming up, and we welcome another year with our loved ones. We decorate our houses and our Christmas trees, fill up the stockings with gifts and unwrap each gift in front of everyone to spread the joy. However, all these things come with a hefty price tag, and you must be aware of your spendings as you await another year to begin.
20 Tips to Help you Budget and Save for Christmas 2019
#1 Shop Early
With less than six months left for it, you must plan your shopping early. Check out websites who will offer lucrative and cheap deals on Cyber Monday and Black Friday. Keep on visiting the local retail shops and if you find something worth, grab it. It will be easier for you to pick gifts and presents for the season without taking much stress.
#2 Prepare a List
Get a pen and a paper to note down all the names of your family members, friends, relatives – to who you will be giving out gifts. Keep striking off the names from the list when you buy the gifts for them. It will help you in reminding who is left and who you are done with.
#3 Use the Coupons and Vouchers
We receive a lot of coupons and vouchers round the year that lays in our cupboards or stays in our wallets forever. We forget to use them, and then they expire. Collect all such coupons and check their validity. If a few days are left for the expiration – go to the store and check if you like something. Or else, there are a lot of websites which offer coupon codes. Browse those websites to find something useful for your needs.
#4 Resale Unused Items
If you start cleaning your home, you will find a lot of items that you have never used. Resale them on e-Bay and earn some extra money. You can use that money to buy presents for your friends and family this season. Monetise the items that you no longer need. It will help you to keep your home clean as you will no longer have unnecessary things.
#5 Buy Online
Why? Because 65% of Brits said that they are planning to spend most of their budget online for Christmas shopping. In recent years, we almost do all our shopping online. We find better deals, items, and a variety of options to choose from. Therefore, go online but do not also forget to check the brick and mortar shops.
#6 Do it Yourself
What’s the use of all those hours of browsing Instagram and Pinterest if you cannot create decorative pieces for the celebrations by yourself? Check Pinterest and other social media websites to find what’s in trend and pull up socks to prepare them beforehand. It is not necessary to splurge on these things as you can easily create these at home. Get some ribbons, baubles, trinkets, buttons, woolly socks – to create stunning decorations.
#7 Book Tickets in Advance
If you’re planning to make your Christmas magical by visiting someplace, then ensure to book the tickets in advance. The earlier you book – the more you will save. The price of tickets becomes expensive with each passing day. Draft your travel calendar and sit down to book the tickets. Compare the prices online on 4-5 comparison websites to find the best deal.
#8 Do NOT Overbuy
There is no need to panic about gifts. Christmas is not just about gifts. It’s the time when all your loved ones are with you and that’s what matters. So, prepare the list and buy accordingly. Do not overbuy things and later on repent of piling up unused gifts that may lay around your rooms when you are broke in the new year.
#9 Rearrange your Budget
Making a budget becomes essential as that restricts you from splashing out all your money. Stick to your budget and spend accordingly. Do not cook the recipe for going broke. A little overspending is fine but going completely out of the budget you’ve planned may put you in financial trouble.
#10 Track your spending
Keep your spending tracker updated with all the things that you buy for Christmas. Even the amount that you spend on getting the ingredients for the cake. It will give you a clear picture of what you have spent already and how much window is still left for your spending.
#11 Start Saving Early
If you start saving money from now, you do not have to worry about the funds during the celebrations. Remember the childhood days, when we would collect whatever money we get in our piggy banks? Adopt that, keep on adding 1-2 pounds in that daily and by Christmas – you will have a source to easy cash for your needs.
#12 Pay in Cash
It is easier to track the spendings when you use cash for your transactions. With credit cards, online wallets and pins – we often go over the limit. When we use our cards to pay for something, it goes completely unnoticed and the costs mount up quickly, which can put us into a debt spiral.
#13 Wrap When You’re Sure
If you’ve ordered something online and do not like it – then place the return request immediately. Wrap the items which you feel to keep with you for giving out. Instead of wrapping 4 pairs of socks in one single box, pack each pair in a box. And wrapping is a fun activity. Enjoy everything that Christmas brings with it.
#14 Make your Own Gifts
Christmas is the season of giving. Your loved ones certainly will not feel bad if you do not gift them something that’s worth £100 pounds. Come up with creative ideas and give them handmade gifts that they will cherish for the lifetime. Pick up the brush and paint that old wine glass that is lying unused for years now. Customise it according to the taste of the person you intend to give it to. Such things create timeless memories.
#15 Visit the Charity Shop
There is no reason for feeling guilty if you purchase from a charity shop. If you are buying a second-hand item, it doesn’t mean anything wrong – rather you are saving money, and that item will be re-used. It is good for the environment as well. Pick gift items for toddlers from the shop as they keep on breaking every new toy that you give them. Why waste money on such things? Pick up board games and old comic books for kids from the shop.
#16 Hunt for Cashbacks
There are a lot of websites that offer cashbacks when you make purchases. Be a digital detective and find those websites to save money. Online shopping can often make your budget go completely out of the line. So make sure to use such websites as you will be able to save a good amount of money.
#17 Don’t Buy Unnecessary Presents
Buy presents that can be used by the other person. If the person who has received the gift cannot even use it – then what’s the point of it? Know their needs and necessities, and plan to give them a gift that will solve their purpose.
#18 Gift Cards? A Big No
If you really want to gift something – then don’t give them a gift card. Most of the gift cards expire within a few months. We usually forget about using gift cards. And some of the retailers deduct money from the balance of the card if you do not use it within a given time period.
#19 Secret Santa
Rather than buying gifts for everyone, suggest “Secret Santa” and set a price limit. Ask everyone to gather before a couple of weeks and ask them to pick names. They must not tell anyone who’s the name they have got it. Everyone has to get a gift for the person who’s the name they have got. Before the dinner, set up this game where everyone will unwrap the gift boxes they have received and let them makes guesses that who has gifted them. It might turn into an interesting dinner table conversation.
#20 Food Gifts
Make food baskets on your own for giving out as a gift. Buy a few mason jars and fill them with chocolate chip cookies, brownies, infuse different flavours for a twist. Pack 2-4 separate jars in one basket. You can also fill the jars with jams, marmalades, mulled wines, rum balls.
Borrow, Only If You Need to
The average spend per household is around £500 during Christmas. It includes gifts and presents, travel and food expenses, decorations, and others. If you are running short of money, or if you want to start a financially sound new year – then opt for a loan. Personal Loans for Christmas will allow you to borrow up to £35,000 and you do not have to provide any collateral as well. Typically, lenders offer an amount ranging from £1,000 to £35,000. You do not have to arrange a guarantor to co-sign the loan application.
How Do Repayments Work?
You have to make the repayments from 12 months to 84 months. The cost of the repayments can be spread over several months and that will allow you to escape the financial hangover after Christmas. Determine how much amount of money you need and how many months do you need to repay it considering your income, and expenses. Set your repayments period accordingly. As no collateral is required for this loan, your home or your car cannot be possessed by the lender if you fail to meet the repayments on time. However, your credit score will be damaged if you do not pay on time and in full. Therefore, make a repayment strategy before you decide to borrow a personal loan.
What are the Uses of a Christmas Loan?
It is nothing but a personal loan. So, you can use the funds that you receive (if approved) for pretty much anything. There are a lot of uses of using this loan and some of them are listed below:
- Pay for the celebrations and decorations
- Buy gifts for your loved ones
- Repair or replace the boiler of your home
- Fund the family trip
- Use it for your wedding
- Consolidate your existing debts
- Give your garden a new makeover for Christmas
You must not use the money for any illegal purposes, stock trading, share market, or to lend that money to some who don’t have a good credit score.
When Should You Consider Borrowing a Loan?
Borrowing a loan is not a financial mistake. Never borrow a loan if you do not know how you will repay it. If you can afford all the repayments, then consider a loan. A credit score is an essential component of your credit profile. Whenever you miss a repayment, it gets recorded and impacts your score. You must be aware of the repayment dates. Set up alerts that will remind you to make timely payments. If you do not repay the loan at all, then after a certain number of payment failure, the lender may report it and you may receive a County Court Judgement. A CCJ will restrict your chances of borrowing money for the next 6 years as lenders will become wary of offering you money. Your repayment plan must be solid and realistic.
How to Apply for a Christmas Loan Online in the UK?
When finding lenders or credit brokers for the loan, always shortlist those who are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). There are a lot of lenders who are not authorised by the financial regulator who offers Christmas Loans Online. Dealing with them may lead you to a scam where you may lose all your money. To apply for a Christmas loan with us:
- Fill the application form online: Provide all the necessary information such as your employment status, income, expenses, bank details, date of birth, the purpose of the loan, and every other detail that may be needed by the lender for making a decision.
- Wait for the decision: The lenders will run a credit check and verify the details provided by you to make their decision.
- Decision: The decision is shown on the screen within a few seconds. You do not have to wait for hours to get a decision.
If your loan application is approved, the lender may transfer the funds to your bank account within a few hours. However, time also depends on your bank. But most of the lenders disburse the money within the same day, in some cases, it may take a couple of days too. Therefore, go through the Terms & Conditions of the lender before signing on the dotted line.
Note: Our lenders run a soft credit check to offer you initial quotes. A soft credit check doesn’t impact your credit score and doesn’t leave a footprint on your report. However, a hard credit check is conducted by the lenders before making their final offer and they are bound by the law to perform a hard credit check.
How to Protect Yourself from Scams?
Scammers may contact you to offer you loans during the festive season. You must be aware of a few things to differentiate between a scammer and a registered lender or credit broker. You may receive unexpected emails, calls, and even text messages wherein you will be offered a deal. Treat all these with caution because if you do not – you may become a victim of a fraud. They might have some basic information about you and that’s how they will try to mould you to take a loan from them. Check their details on the Financial Services Register and know if they are genuine or not. If the firm is not registered, report it to the FCA. Don’t fall into the trap of the callers if they are pressurising you to make an instant decision. Financial firms understand the customers and that is why they can wait for a couple of days for you to make an informed decision.
The Bottom Line
It is not necessary to borrow a loan if you have enough savings for your plans. If you have an emergency fund and you do not want to take out money from it for the expenses – you may consider borrowing a loan. Also, you can find and apply for Short-term Loans for Christmas expenses that will allow you to borrow an amount ranging from £100 to £1,000. Also, you do not have to make a lump sum payment as these loans provide you with the opportunity to spread the repayment cost over 12 months. Even if you have a bad credit score, and no guarantor, you can easily apply for a loan. However, if you have a bad credit score, the rate of interest that you might get for a loan may be a little higher. The lender is taking the risk by lending you the money without any security and guarantor. And lenders view the profiles for bad credit scores as a possible risk as they think that the borrower may default on the loan. Hence, the rate of interest they levy on the loan is a bit higher as compared to the rates that are offered to individuals who have a good credit score. Also, timely repayment of the loan will improve your credit score.
If you’re considering to borrow a loan, decide by gauging your affordability. To start the process, Click Here.