Monday 20 May 2019

Planning your festive finances

Christmas is not far away but along with planning your shopping, presents, food and socialising, our A, B, C Guide to Festive Finances, will help you plan to manage your money more effectively while enjoying the festivities. For more information click on their personal finance website

A is for - Awareness of the costs of credit

In the run up to Christmas, personal loans and in-store credit may look like attractive options, especially when it comes to in-store credit for larger purchases like PCs, electrical equipment or furniture with low or 0% interest rates for a period of time. Loans may look affordable, but you need to consider the full costs and not just the monthly repayment.

Before signing up, ask yourself if you could afford the repayments if you faced future unexpected costs or a loss of income due to redundancy or illness. Try not to be tempted to buy something just because the credit is available.

B is for - Better Budgeting – even at Christmas time!

Everyone knows Christmas is an expensive time, but a few practical steps will help you keep track of your spending. Use our budget planner to help you work out how much you can afford to spend over Christmas. A budget will also help you find new ways to free up some money you may be spending elsewhere. Perhaps you could cut back on a few things between now and Christmas?

First, make a list of who you need to buy for and how much you want to spend. Stagger your spending and take time to shop around for the best deals, both online and in the shops. This can save you money and help you avoid impulse buying and overspending.

C is for - Careful Credit Card spending

Our recent poll showed that while 60% of you have money put away for Christmas, 1 in 3 plan to use your credit card. It is easy to throw caution to the wind and use your credit card to splurge on expensive presents. As a rule of thumb ask yourself if you could afford to pay cash instead. If you can’t, maybe you should re-think what you are planning to buy.

Remember, your credit card bill must be repaid. Starting the New Year with a hefty bill will make the January blues even worse! Interest can quickly mount up, so look at our cost comparisons to make sure you are getting the best deal. If not, consider switching to a credit card with a lower interest rate.

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