The countdown to Christmas has already begun in earnest, and while some of us are burying our heads in the sand, others have been planning their festive spending to make the most of their money. And according to American Express, women are leagues ahead when it comes to festive financial planning.
Christmas can be an expensive time of year, with presents, food and decorations, not to mention travel and festive parties, all taking their toll on our wallets. For this reason, it's unsurprising that many people plan their expenditure, but it seems women are particularly keen to limit their Christmas expenses: American Express's research found that 71% of female respondents are trying to have a 'cost conscious' Christmas, compared with only 57% of men.
The survey also found that women tried to spread the cost of their purchases in the months leading up to the big event, with more than half (56%) taking this methodical approach. But again, fewer men opted for this route, with only 47% of male respondents reporting that they would try to pay for Christmas out of more than one pay packet.
Women also appear to be on the ball when it comes to taking advantage of cashback deals. As we reported earlier this week (3 November), savvy spenders can cover some of the cost of Christmas by utilising cashback offers on credit cards and current accounts, but while 41% of female respondents opt for this method, only 30% of men questioned said they planned to make such savings.
If you want to have a budget-friendly festive period, then you need to start preparing now!
Budget your spending and decide exactly what you need to buy in advance: being organised is a great way to ensure you don't spend more than you need to, and you can also clearly see where you can cut costs.
You may then want to think about how you purchase your festive items. Using a cashback card can mean you get something back for nothing, which can then be fed back into your Christmas budget or saved for another day. Paying for items via credit card also means that you can benefit from payment protection, which could come in handy if an item is faulty.
When you actually come to shopping for your Christmas goodies, keep an eye out for discounts and vouchers, either online or in the stores themselves. This way you can pounce when an enticing offer crops up and save money in the process!
It's a bit late for this year, but if you want to be ahead of the game next year, then you may want to think about putting some money aside into a savings account ready for next year's festive spend. A regular saver can be ideal for this, as you can make regular payments to build up a pot ready for when you need it. Alternatively, if you have a lump sum you can stash away, a one-year fixed rate bond may be ideal. These accounts usually restrict your access to the money invested, which means you won't be tempted to spend it before the bond matures in time for Christmas.
Check out the top cashback credit cards
Find a savings account for next Christmas
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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