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The cost of Christmas and beyond

It can be the happiest time of the year.  Hot drinks, festive cheer, and family, however, it can be a time of immense pressure for household budgets, and often that seasonal festivity can turn to fear as parents and families feel the pressure to spend during times of extreme financial difficulty.

How much does the UK spend at Christmas time?

The Christmas period can be a time of economic stress. Making sure the ones you love get presents and gifts, as well as all the festive decorations, food, and cookies for Santa…it’s a lot.

December can often leave households a little worse for wear, but with the cost-of-living crisis already putting a strain on household budgets, these additional costs may have put further pressures on low-income families.

According to the Bank of England, consumers spent an additional £1.2 billion on credit cards in November, compared to the month before.
Stats like these show worrying signs of a reliance upon credit in the run up to Christmas, and it’s clear the cost of living crisis will have an impact on the UK’s spending habits and for some time to come, as money borrowed will eventually need to be repaid. 
Some quick budgeting tips:

To help you stay in the green, here are some quick tips for a more cost-effective new year.

Build shopping lists:

It’s easy for the spending to get ahead of you. Make sure you know exactly what you need to avoid unnecessary spending.

Know what you have to spend:

Working out what you can afford to spend each month, after covering all of your regular costs is vital to staying on track.

Get ahead of future changes:

If you know something is going to impact your future finances, like additional childcare costs, a reduction in hours, or increase in energy costs, like the end of the energy price cap in April, make a plan now for keeping yourself afloat. Can you save a small amount each month now to free up some cash then?    

What to do if you feel you’re falling into debt in January

If you feel like you’re falling into debt due to holiday spending and additional costs, it’s important to seek help early. Leaving your debts will only make the situation worse and getting help sooner rather than later could avoid further troubles in the new year.