This year, many are fearful of Christmas spending due to the rise in the cost of living. With households struggling to keep food on the table and pay their energy bills, Christmas is a big concern for many.
According to Barclaycard, almost half (48%) of people are planning to cut down on Christmas purchases this year, whilst 42% were limiting their spending on socialising.
In a time of political and economic uncertainty, the thought of putting on a lavish festive spread, plus the additional cost of lights, gifts and Christmas parties can be a little worrying.
Black Friday is much anticipated in the run-up to Christmas as people jump on big deals and offers. We see them advertised everywhere on TV, radio, online and social media.
However, Which have recently reported that six months before Black Friday, 85% of the items had been the same price or less expensive.
It’s key to do your research. If there’s something you know you want to purchase, have a look at prices a few months before to compare. It’s also worth hunting around different retailers to find the best deal.
Christmas is often a time when people look to credit cards and loans to cover the additional costs. In fact, according to Money.com, nearly 1 in 4 of us in the UK use credit cards to make purchases in the run-up to Christmas.
Particularly for higher-cost items, some consumers use credit cards or take out loans to pay for the items that may not be able to afford upfront such as tech gadgets or furniture.
These all generate interest as you repay them, so it might hit hard in January if you are already struggling prior to Christmas. Payday loans can be tempting too, but you really want to be careful as whilst they are quick to come into your bank, the interest rates come in even quicker!
If you are going to go down that route, make sure you’re able to make your repayments. If you miss a payment, it can impact your credit score, and could also land you further into debt.
Research the best interest rates and make sure you budget. Plus, watch out for additional fees such as charges for missed payments.
If you have been experiencing debt, have tried to speak to the company and have not had an appropriate response, Resolver can help get you in touch with the right people.
It sounds quite simple to budget, but when it comes to Christmas it can be tough. Especially, when sales and Black Friday start to come up.
If you can, try to list things you know you would like to get before the sales start to come in. Plan for Christmas parties and events, and scale back on what you know you won’t be able to afford. Get crafty if you need to and make homemade presents for friends and family, rather than buy them things they won’t necessarily need.
Work out what you can afford and plan Christmas from there – not the other way around. Most families will be in the same boat, so will understand if you need to cut down on gifts or miss out on some events.
It might seem a little sad, especially after the pandemic and lockdown to reduce the amount we go out and socialise around Christmas. But swapping the nights out for nights in doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
It doesn’t mean you don’t get to see your friends and family; invite them over and enjoy company there – the more the merrier! Plan dinner parties, film nights, games nights, parties etc. and create memories from the comfort of your own home (or someone else’s if you want to avoid cleaning up!)
Similarly, you can find cheap ways to entertain the kids – such as going to see the Christmas lights, visiting a Christmas market or wrapping up warm for a winter Christmas walk. Check out MSE Jenny’s Free Christmas Magic blog for some great ideas!
If you know there’s something you really would like but can’t afford, (and you’re able to wait just a little bit longer!) then embracing the Boxing Day and January sales might help spread out the cost, particularly for higher-priced items.
In fact, a lot of items can be cheaper in January, including electronics, toys, winter clothing and even fitness and gym memberships ready for the New Year. You can even get your Christmas decorations for next year!
Retailers generally buy extra stock before Christmas, so they don’t get a bad rep if they sell out. Therefore, they will have stock they want to get rid of before the new range comes in. So, if it’s worth the wait, you may be better off.
The holiday period can be tough for many, and unfortunately, not everything runs smoothly.
Often, when ordering goods online, orders get missed or arrive late. There may be returns you need to make, replace items or get different sizes.
Some shops will give a refund or store credit, but they don’t always have to. It’s important to check returns policies.
If you’re having difficulty with a company, or with debts after the Christmas period, there are companies such as Step Change and Citizens Advice that can help.
Here at Resolver, if you’re not having luck with a company, get in touch. We help customers engage with businesses easily and get a quicker resolution.