How to take control of your
OW autumn has started, we feel it’s OK to mention the C word. Yes, it’s just over 13 weeks to Christmas, and if you haven’t started saving, don’t worry there’s still time.
A third of Brits started this year with a financial hangover from the last festive season but a little planning could see you building up a fund so you can enjoy a happy Christmas without the worry of debt.
“Set yourself a target of how much you want to save and you’ll know what you’ll need to do to achieve it,” advises Andrew Hagger from Moneycomms.co.uk
“Try to put aside what you can afford each week and every pound you find this side of December 25 is one less to find in the New Year.”
A typical family spends £796 on Christmas according to Yougov. Here are some ways to save the pennies. RATHER than shelling out for expensive shop-bought sandwiches (approx £3 a pop) go DIY. If you do this three days days a week you can save £9 per week – that’s £117 by Christmas.
CUTTING back on just three shop-bought coffees each week, at £2 a pop, will save you another £78 by the festive season. INSTEAD, plan your meals, write a shopping list and go to the supermarket just once each week. Don’t forget to use up the food in your freezer and store cupboards.
It’s possible to save between £10 and £30 per week by doing this, that’s £390 over 13 weeks. GO through your bank statement and cancel all non-essential direct debits, such as that gym membership you never use, dental plans, magazine subscriptions etc. Every little helps and it’ll mount up.
YOU can earn up to £150 just by switching banks – a great way to add to your Christmas fund. Just make sure the account works for you – if you’re always in the black look for one which pays you interest or rewards. If you dip into the red look for an account with low overdraft interest charges. YOU can save some serious money off energy bills by switching to a better deal.
It doesn’t take long and you can use comparison sites such as uswitch.com or moneysavingexpert. com. You can save hundreds of pounds. EVEN if you have mislaid your original vouchers you can check the value on online at tesco.com/clubcard.
In your Clubcard account, click on ‘my vouchers’ on the left-hand side and you should see a table listing the vouchers you still have to spend.
Use them at Christmas for toys and presents rather than food because you can get up to four times their value on items such as jewellery, or double the value in-store and online for items including toys, gifts, wine, champagne and more.
MAKE sure you are using your Boots advantage card or supermarket loyalty cards when you buy the weekly household necessities and bump up your points so you can use them to buy presents.
Look out for special ‘double points’ promotions too – many stores have frequent incentives in the run-up to Christmas.