Money Saving Updated:
How much are you planning to spend this festive season? Well, according to research from American Express, it could tot up to a staggering £1,484, so it's time to see where savings could be made!
The almost-£1,500 total may seem like a sum that you'd never spend in just a few weeks, but breaking down the figures shows that it may not be that far off. The total includes everything from traditional expenditure on gifts (£315) and the big festive food shop (£81), to the cost of hosting a Christmas party (£104) and new clothes for the season (£87), with Christmas jumpers and a new outfit for the office night out often high on the list of priorities.
And what about festive getaways? An increasing number of Brits are enjoying trips to Christmas markets both in the UK and abroad, with the average spend coming in at £386 for breaks outside the UK - the largest expense on the list - and £201 for festive trips on home soil. After you add in the cost of travelling to visit loved ones (£76), Christmas catch ups (£93), festive entertainment such as pantomimes (£91) and those new decorations (£50), you'll soon see how quickly the total can rise – are you factoring these kinds of costs into your festive budget?
If that sounds like far too much to spend in the next few weeks, fear not – there are ways to cut the cost! Setting a budget is key: 28% of American Express' respondents said they don't have one while 33% have a budget but admit they don't always stick to it, but it really is vital. Keeping track of your festive spending can mean the difference between a wonderful Christmas time and starting the New Year with a financial hangover, so it's important to be on the ball.
One way you could be particularly savvy is by saving up reward points, something that 47% of respondents plan to do – and they expect to cut their festive shopping bill by an average of £65 in the process. And what about cashback credit cards or current accounts? Another way to boost your finances, perfect for this time of year.
Unfortunately, 22% of respondents haven't yet thought about how they'll make the most of their money, but they're running out of time to do so – so don't be one of them! Here are a few extra tips to help keep your festive spending in check:
"While Christmas shopping can come with a large price tag for some, it's important to get your finances sorted as soon as you can," commented Sarah Willingham, American Express ambassador. "Start planning now so you can spread the cost of Christmas as much as possible, that way you can keep an eye on the budget and see where your money is being spent. By keeping control of costs, you can focus on spending more quality time with your loved ones during the festive season."
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Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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