Back to Stash

September Saves

This month it’s all about September Saves, where we let you in on savvy ways to help with budgeting over Christmas.

Why are we focusing on the holiday period so early in the year? It’s kind of a long story, but one you’d probably like to know a bit more about…


September has long been known (to those in-the-know) as shipping season, as products are manufactured en masse, packaged up, and shipped out across the world just in time for the shopping rush that is November’s Black Friday.

The global supply chain and movement of international goods is usually something that a lot of us don’t give a second thought. It just seems to work silently in the background – when we want or need something, more often than not we’ll be able to find it stacked on a store shelf, or readily available online for next day delivery.

But we’re beginning to realise that we should start paying attention to this ‘silent giant’, as it’s seemingly struggling under the weight of very varied, yet important, factors…

The pandemic.

We’ve all heard about the devastating health implications that the spread of the recent pandemic has brought, but it’s also affected us in other ways that are more difficult to assess. Many countries that suffered during the pandemic are also a big part of the global supply chain and have struggled in getting production ramped up again due to multiple industries being disrupted by labour shortages and movement/transportation restrictions.

It’s resulted in stock shortages, slower shipments, larger costs, and overall, less products on the shelf in your local supermarket.

Booming consumer demand.

As we’ve begun to emerge from a rather isolated 18 months, our spending has skyrocketed, and it’s not slowing down.

We’re currently buying so much that the Chief Executive of APM Terminals is warning that only a decrease in consumer demand can ease the strain on the global shipping crisis and give it time to catch up.

Cargo ship shortages.

It seems that when products eventually arrive to docks in China in the hopes to be shipped worldwide, there aren’t enough cargo ships or shipping containers available. This is because the worldwide spending decrease during the early lockdowns lead many large shipping companies to store some of their ships to save money.

Rising demand with fewer ships available has also meant that the cost of shipping has skyrocketed… a year ago the cost of shipping a container across the Pacific Ocean was up to £2,121. Currently, that same journey would cost up to £10,974!

Lorry driver shortages.

It’s no secret that the global supply chain relies heavily on long-haul HGVs, and the drivers who operate them. But lately, multiple factors have coincided to create a perfect storm for the industry, especially in the UK…

A combination of factors leading to the shortage include:

  • An ageing current workforce, with thousands of drivers retiring each week
  • A lack of interest from younger workers to join the industry, citing anti-social hours and poor pay (wages for a HGV driver have not increased in line with inflation)
  • Thousands of EU drivers have left the UK post Brexit, leaving lots of vacancies
  • Training costs to become an HGV driver is around £3,500 and can currently take up to 16 weeks to obtain a license, which is seen by many as a deterrent

This has left haulage firms and agencies scrambling to find drivers.

What does all this mean?

It’s leading to a very real sense of urgency in the global supply industry, which is filtering down to retailers and customers, with some economic insiders suggesting that planning early for Christmas may be a very smart move. Before you do, consider the below:

  • Retail inventory is expected to be thinner than usual come the usual shopping surge of late November, so try and get it all done sooner rather than later.
  • Some products which were originally expected to be released around the holiday season will instead likely arrive sometime in 2022, so be prepared to move on to your second or even third choice.
  • Look for locally produced items or even make your own gifts to avoid the supply chain chaos.

It’s not all bad.

Although it seems like there may be some shopping struggle this year, it appears that overall consumer confidence in a traditional Christmas this year is quite high.

According to a report by eBay Ads, 60% of Christmas-celebrating Brits feel optimistic that they’ll be able to celebrate as normal this year, and 30% plan to spend more on presents and celebrations.

It also revealed that a quarter of us feel that Christmas will be more exciting this year – let’s hope so!

September Saves.

So, now you know a little bit more about how those Christmas presents make their way to your local high street, here’s some extra tips to help you bag the best (while stocks last…)

Be a bargain hunter.

Fairly obvious tip to start off with, but considering the supply chain issues we mentioned earlier, we could be seeing the cost of a lot of products increase come December. As always, keep your eyes peeled for discounts and deals. If you’re planning on avoiding crowds and doing the majority of your shopping online, free web browser extensions like Honey can be very useful for finding discount codes to make your basket cheaper…

Ditch the gift cards.

Gift cards are always a solid bet for those extended family members who you’re never really quite sure what to get. They’re less personalised than a specific gift, but more thoughtful than cash – an acceptable medium.

However, with the amount of retailers that have had to close their doors in the last 18 months, it might be best to avoid this year’s gift card haul – you never know which stores could close down next, and there’s usually very little you (or the recipient) can do to get your money back.

Prep for next Christmas.

Post-Christmas sales (we’re talking the ones in January, not the ones on Boxing Day) are usually filled to the brim with things like wrapping paper, crackers, cards, trees, tree decorations and more. Save yourself the hassle of buying the ‘essentials’ when it’s too late next year, and grab them while they’re cheap and available!

Meet the team.

Calum O’Connell – MI & Data Manager

Calum says: “I first joined MoneyPlus in 2007 as an Office Administrator, and I’ve since worked my way up to become the manager of our group-wide Management Information department.

My role within the group allows our various departments to access relevant information that helps to inform their services and conversations with our thousands of customers, each and every day.

It also helps our colleagues to better understand and identify any important, recurring trends happening within the business.

I’m really excited to continue to build on the great work we do in helping customers from all walks of life access the expert financial advice they may need. It’s a part of what makes our customer service so great – better informed Advisors leads to better informed customers, and that is such an amazing thing!”

Going the extra mile.

What do you do when your beloved local Youth Zone has been facing financial hardship throughout the pandemic and needs as much support as possible?

Unfortunately, this is the question we’ve been faced with for our company charity, the Manchester Youth Zone. So, we’re rising to the challenge with a mammoth fundraising campaign spanning 8 whole months in the hopes to raise £50,000 for our Youth Zone!

Click here to read our first monthly update on our fundraising campaign – one month down, 7 to go!

Review of the month.

We love reading our customer reviews – and showing them off to the world!

This month’s review comes from a very valuable MoneyPlus Advice customer.

Take a look…

In case you didn’t know, every Friday is #FeedbackFriday on our social media, so if you’d like to see more great reviews, head over to our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

If you’d like to leave a review for us, head over to our MoneyPlus Advice or MoneyPlus Legal review pages – we can’t wait to read it!

Social scene.

We like to keep our followers up-to-date with the latest industry news, advice, and offers, so we highly recommend following our social media channels so you can stay in the know…




Here for you, in more ways than one.

At MoneyPlus, we offer a range of services that help you to make the most of your finances and live better. Take a look below to see if you could benefit from one (or more) of our other offerings…

Debt solutions that suit your lifestyle.

If your personal circumstances have changed and you find yourself struggling to manage your finances, give MoneyPlus Advice a call on 0161 837 4000, or email us at, and we’ll help you find the best solution to get your finances back on the right track.

Helping you claim back what’s yours.

Many think PPI is a thing of the past, but it isn’t too late to claim. Even if you’ve already been paid out compensation for mis-sold PPI, or were rejected, we could help you.

We’re a fully regulated law firm acting for tens of thousands of people who are rightfully claiming back the money they’re owed from their PPI. Click here to start your PPI check today.

Together, we can live better.