It can be quite daunting to get your bank accounts ready for Christmas. The supermarkets already had wrapping paper out in September which if you’re counting your pennies can be quite a scary thought. Since we still have three months to go, here’s my top tips on how to keep your budgets in check before the big event happens!
Plan ahead for your gift purchases!
It’s easy to wait to see what the shops bring out for their Christmas ranges but if you were going to buy a friend a body set anyway, go for one you see now. It may be exactly what they want, cheaper and it allows you to spread the cost throughout the lead up. If you have an agenda and a set list from ideas given this year, don’t be too tempted to splurge on the themed stuff. It’s also much easier for monthly disposable income to be spread over the three months rather than waiting to December.
Use your credit card wisely and invest in your cash back!
I have an American Express card which is great for giving those extra 30 days to pay off my purchases. I try to keep the big stuff on there rather than lots of little spends but it also racks up the % cash back. Ideal if you’re spending a lot, to get a little back. It’s free money and if you’re going to spend anyway or you use a MasterCard you might as well use a cashback card to get a little bonus. It’s not hundreds but the percentages all add up. It’s also worth building a credit score so when big purchases come up, you know you’ll be allowed that car loan or mortgage!
Don’t be afraid of using a loan for big spends!
To keep my budgets in check I got out a loan for my new Nissan Juke. Look at quick loans to tie you over and use a good monthly payment option to allow for those big spends. Not many of us have a spare few thousand lying around but we can often manage those monthly payments. Of course, spend wisely and keep your monthly payments to a minimum where possible. However, loans aren’t the worst option to look at and can be great for tying you over. Just ensure you can pay them back!
Download all the banking apps you need and keep on top of them.
I wouldn’t be anywhere without my online banking. I have three of them and even have a PayPal app. This allows me to instantly see my balances, pay off bills and keep a track of what’s going where. When I had a purchase go through a card a few months ago that was fraudulent, it was something I noticed within a day of it happening. I know my parents and grandma rely on going to a cash point to check balances but that isn’t easy to access and isn’t as instant. Great for keeping your balances on check if you want to manage what’s going where.
So these are my top tips for managing budgets in the lead up to Christmas. It’s hard to not over spend and buy everything you see but if you manage your money over the next few months, it might even leave you with the chance to splurge on yourself!
What is your top way to manage your money in the run up to the festive season?