Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Cut Back on the Cash Outlay This Christmas

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Cut Back on the Cash Outlay This Christmas

Article excerpt

Don't want to blow a ho-ho-hole in your wallet this year? VICKY SHAW reveals some simple ways to keep costs down

IT SEEMS many of us are planning to have a thrifty Christmas this year rather than blow the budget. In fact, 71% of people are planning to make big cutbacks (compared with just 56% in 2015), a survey from AA Financial Services has found.

The research also found women are the most likely to be planning to impose a strict budgeting strategy, with 76% vowing to spend less, versus 66% of men.

It's not hard to see why some are trying to rein back, given that, according to separate research from American Express, people expect the festive season to cost up to an average £1,522 in total. This includes money they'll spend on festive getaways, gifts and hosting parties.

Here are some ideas if you're looking for some inspiration to keep the costs down...

WRITE IT DOWN LAURA LAIDLAW, head of customer communications at Standard Life, suggests writing down how much you'll need for each part of your Christmas shopping. Include how much you'll need for food, socialising, last-minute presents, decorations and anything else Christmas-related.

By writing down exactly how much you plan to spend, it becomes much easier to resist impulse spending on unnecessary extras - and there may be some items on your list that you can cut out more easily if it's all written down.

Handing over cash when you make your purchases could also help you resist the urge to spend, as it may seem more like 'real money' than paying by credit card.

HAVE AN 'APPY CHRISTMAS LAURA suggests downloading stores' apps, as many will offer special discounts. And don't forget about online discount codes and cashback websites which give you money back on what you buy - just make sure you're still only buying what you need.

ASK GUESTS TO CONTRIBUTE TO CHRISTMAS DINNER IF you've got to put on a feast for friends and family over Christmas, asking them to help out could ease your costs. AA Financial Services found that 8% of women are planning to ask guests to contribute food and drink over Christmas, as are 5% of men. …

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