Debt can be a major worry, especially if it builds up. If you are concerned about your finances, however big or small, finding out which options are available to you early can help you regain control.
If you need help and support, there are plenty of websites that can help:
- Moneyadviceservices.org.uk: free and impartial money advice, including tools and calculators
- Gov.uk: money and tax advice
- Moneysavingexpert.com: advice on dealing with debt in the UK and budget planner
- Debt tester: find out how likely you are to have problems with borrowing. Follow the link to take the test.
We all know Christmas can be an expensive time of year, but there are many ways to save money and manage your costs. Here's a few top tips:
- Homemade Christmas - use your talents to make gifts for friends and family. Do a search for homemade gifts on Pinterest - there are plenty of ideas.
- Shop around for your food - you can compare prices for the main supermarkets here.
- Organise a Secret Santa for the family. Meaning you can buy gifts that you couldn't otherwise afford.
- Send e-christmas cards or send your cards early using second class post.
- Get cash back on your purchases - look into cashback websites such as Quido.com or Topcashback.co.uk. When you buy gifts, a percentage of the purchase is paid directly back into your account
Saving for Christmas
After the fun of Christmas is over, many of us are left facing a hefty bill in the New Year. The earlier you start saving, the less you need to put aside each month. Even a small amount over a few months can make a big difference.
Set a budget - the average Christmas per household is around £500, which includes food, presents and decorations. To begin your budget, make a list of family and friends and allocate an amount to each. Consider how many people will be coming over and how much you will spend on food and drink. From here you should be able to work out how much money you need to put away each month.
Work out the best way to save each month - look into a savings account at your bank and set up a Direct Debit or standing order to transfer the amount you are saving each month. Or, you can start off small by putting away your spare £1 and £2 coins into a jar each week.
Pick up some Christmas essentials such as cards, wrapping paper etc in the January sales.