Saving for Christmas With Christmas just around the corner, many of us will be starting to head to the high street to begin Christmas shopping. It is practically impossible to pay for Christmas out of December’s pay alone, so it is worth saving as soon as possible. Here are some tips to help you avoid facing a hefty bill in the New Year. Set a budget According to The Statistics Portal*, the average spend on Christmas per household in 2016 was £810. This includes food, presents, travel and decorations. With the highest amount of money being spent on gifts. Setting a budget will help you estimate your total spend and enable you to plan how much you need to save each month. To help you set your budget, make a list of all the people you will be buying presents for and allocate an amount for each person. Then consider whether you will be hosting dinner, think about how many people will be coming over and work out how much you will need to spend on food and drink. Taking into account all these factors, you should be able to work out how much money you will need to pay for Christmas. The earlier you start to save, the less you will need to put aside each month. How much should you save each month? It is easy for us to say that we will save the money we have left at the end of the month, but chances are you probably won’t end up saving much, if any. Start treating saving like a bill and commit to saving a regular sum each week or month. Be realistic – Don’t aim too high and give up, instead commit to saving a manageable amount Create new festive traditions There is a lot of pressure to create the perfect Christmas, often resulting in overspending. Create new traditions, whether it be picking up Christmas essentials, such as crackers and decorations in the January sales, buying gifts throughout the year to spread the cost or embracing digital and sending your Christmas cards via email. Get the whole family to have a clear out before the festive season; make some extra money by selling your unwanted items online or at a local sale. If you are a baking pro or craft crazy, why not give a handmade gift instead. This is a great way to save money and show off your talent. Where to save? Deciding where to save can be difficult. For smaller amounts a piggy bank will do the trick, but make sure you transfer it into your savings as soon as you have built up a decent sum. This will prevent you from dipping into it when the milk man turns up unannounced. If you are saving a larger amount, it may be worth opening an Easy Access Savings Account. Set up a standing order to transfer your chosen amount into your account every month. Unsure which savings account would work best for you, Explore Our Savings Accounts. We would love to hear your Christmas saving tips. Tweet us @NewcastleBSoc *https://www.statista.com/statistics/743681/average-christmas-spending-per-household-in-the-uk-by-category/ 4 Things to do this weekend: Christmas EditionA Fang-tastic Competiton!