would paying a bill; open an instant access account, and set up a direct debit into this from your main bank account.
It is easy to feel pressured into spending lots of money on presents, but the reality is that lots of your family and friends will be experiencing the same money worries. The Money Advice Service held a ‘Talk
Money Week’ in November. Ione Gyamfi from the service explains: ‘We want people to have frank discussions about money to break the taboo. It’s so important to talk about it in order to improve mental health around the festive period.’ It may be a good idea to discuss an upward spending limit with friends, or perhaps organise a Secret Santa to cut your list to just one present. Consider starting new family traditions too – maybe from now on, everyone has to give at least one homemade present.
Although it can be tempting to leave it until the last minute, start buying presents early to spread out the cost. Rosie Bannister suggests buying presents the previous January: ‘This is a way to make the most of the postChristmas sales. Plus, it means you can benefit from discounts and vouchers too.’