How are you budgeting this holiday season? Christmas is fast approaching— more specifically, it is less than 90 days away. It is time to start including holiday expenses into the overall budgeting equation. Last year, the average family spent £800 on holiday expenses in the UK.
According to the Money Advice Service, around 35pc of Britons borrowed money or planned to borrow money for Christmas last year, and this number is expected to increase. The pressure to spend often stems from wanting to please our family and friends and the temptations of holiday shopping promotions.
There are many options that are glamorous that can take our eyes off the prize— staying within our budget. Saving for holiday expenses is the best way to prepare for Christmas festivities, and with personal finance and budgeting tools such as Squirrel, Christmas can be manageable, and not overwhelming.
But, you may be wondering, what are your top expenses for the holidays? For most, our automatic thought drifts towards gifts… However, where do gifts stack up in the grand total of all of our expenses?
Take a moment to think about your biggest expenditures for the holiday season.
According to the Centre for Retail Research, in 2015, around 60pc was spent on gifts, 27 pc on food and drinks, and 10pc on holiday travel. Only 3pc was spent on holiday decorations.
Since gifts are many of our largest expenditures, here are 7 gift ideas to fit any budget. And, trust us, it does not involve any IOUs.
Personalised Inspirational Pencils
Gifts are often times the most memorable when they are personalised. You can easily use inspirational quotes or initials as the design, and the gift works for both schoolchildren all the way to working professionals.
Reminisce for a moment about the last time you received a card. The personalisation of a hand written holiday card can sometimes demonstrate your love for the ones you care about the most, more so than any monetary gift.
Chocolate (or any baked goods for that matter)
This tip works wonders when your gift recipient list is a long one. Baking a batch of chocolate truffles or brownies, then dividing and wrapping a batch for each recipient is a thoughtful gift for anyone. I mean, who doesn’t like to receive desserts? You can even make it a family affair where the children are involved in creating the goodies.
I personally love gifting candles. It is a gift that can often be overlooked. Fortunately, there are candles that are both extremely affordable and high value. You can either gift a small set or a larger candle, and there are a variety of scents to choose from! For the super savvy savers, buy the candle sets and gift the candles individually.
Early mornings become easier with a hot beverage. Travel mugs are not only practical, but the variety of designs ensures that you will find the right print.
Gifts cards can often be overlooked as insincere, but often times allows for more flexibility for the recipient, and makes planning easier for you.
Try thinking about the interests of the your friends and family. Is your friend an avid coffee lover? Gifting a card to a local coffee shop is a simple luxury that will be highly appreciated. It is the simple pleasures in life that makes the world go around.
If you want to start saving today, Squirrel can help you budget this holiday season and beyond.
(P.S., an account with Squirrel is free for the first three months to new users to use through Christmas).
Squirrel is an easy to use, personal finance management application that does all of your budgeting for you. You decide your commitments, i.e. rent, utilities, council tax, and proposed savings, i.e. holiday expenses, and Squirrel withholds a part of your monthly salary, then deposits the money to you at its specific due date.
Squirrel does all of the budgeting for you where you have your money just in time.
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