Christmass Bliss

How to manage your spend over Christmas

It gets to about October time every year and I think ‘I should have put more money aside for Christmas!’. At the start of the year, the intention is always there. I calculate a rough budget and set aside an amount each month. However, as the year progresses, I find other more urgent things to pay for so by October the amount I’ve saved is nowhere near enough.

And it seems I’m not alone. According to a poll conducted in January this year by the charity National Debtline, only 14% of the population managed to save money for Christmas before the previous summer. In the same poll, over half of those questioned revealed they had not saved anything at all before December. It’s no surprise then that an estimated 7.9 million people (myself included) rely on debt to get us through.

Expectations rising

For my family, the cost of Christmas seems to have risen in line with my children growing up. When they were young, I spent less. They didn’t eat so much and it was easy to satisfy them with the latest toy. My ability to get carried away was usually the only thing that sent us over budget. Now they are teenagers they want to go out with their friends, they eat adult-sized portions of food and the presents they request (usually tech based) are more expensive than the average toy.

It’s not just my household, we are all spending more on Christmas. Research by The Independent found that the average family spend in 2017 was just over £800, an increase of 1.3% on the year before. Like most people, I can’t afford that outlay from only one or two month’s salary, so putting money aside each month and spreading the cost with credit cards is the only option.

Stick to the plan

I’m not the type of person who buys their Christmas presents in the January sales. For one thing, I’m not that organised. I also enjoy Christmas shopping at Christmas time. And the start of the festive season (which does seem to get earlier year on year) is my trigger to get organised. I’ll make a plan, organise Christmas shopping dates (for early December, I can’t handle the stress if I leave it too late!) and work out the all-important budget. If like me, you love Christmas and are easily tempted by everything that goes with it, the hardest part is sticking to the limit.

Enter Process Bliss

We’ve put our heads together here at Christmas Bliss HQ and come up with a process to help manage festive finances. Processes are usually improved with experience and repetition, and that’s certainly true in my case when it comes to spending money at Christmas. Over the years, I’ve got much better at identifying where I spend more than I need to and applying a ‘do I really need it?’ filter to stay in control.

See this process in action

See this process in action

Just like you, our team is busy preparing for Christmas. Head over to our social accounts to see how we’re getting on running this process:

Alternatively, to make sure everything runs smoothly this festive season so you can enjoy a blissful Christmas, why not get started with Process Bliss.