Christmas spending advice for families

The festive season is fast approaching and millions of people will be planning to spend on entertaining and gifts in the coming months, but the Money …

The festive season is fast approaching and millions of people will be planning to spend on entertaining and gifts in the coming months, but the Money Advice Service (MAS) has warned households need to manage their finances effectively at this time of year.

Research from MAS carried out at this time in 2013 revealed as many as one-third of Britons (34 per cent) believed they would start 2014 in debt as a result of excessive holiday spending and this was a prediction the organisation has since shown to have been well made.

Overall, a lack of restraint and proper planning can have serious and long-term implications for people up and down the country if they fall into debt as a result of going overboard during the festive season, so MAS has published a range of tips to help keep their finances on track heading into the new year.

The first thing people should do is to examine their present finances and create a budget to ensure they are not spending more than they can afford, while at the same time, planning ahead prior to the Christmas rush can see people picking up presents and other holiday essentials much cheaper.

Looking for discounts both online and in stores can also be a great way to save, while limiting spending on non-essentials – like takeaways or eating out for lunch – can also help individuals to avoid the need to build up debts when planning the family festivities.

Money expert at MAS Jane Symonds commented: "Christmas can easily turn from an exciting time with the family into a big financial stress. If you haven't already set a budget, now is a good time to take control of your spending.

"Christmas can be an expensive time of year, but it's important to know that you don't have to live beyond your means to make it a fun time, especially if you plan well in advance – after all, it does come every year!"

Posted by Amy White

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