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5 ways to stay financially merry in the run up to Christmas

You might be thinking it’s a little too early to talk about Christmas, and you might be right. However, it’s never too early to hatch a plan to ensure you sail through the festive season and the financial stress that sometimes comes with it.

We all want our Christmas to be magical but money woes can easily dampen even the jolliest of spirits. By considering some of these tips, you’ll be as organised as Santa Claus himself and could have the best Christmas yet!

1. Plan, plan and plan some more

We all know that our excess spend at Christmas involves more than just the presents. There’s also the decorations, the additional nights out and the food for the big day itself. Getting a plan together outlining what you need to buy and what you spend is key. It will help you to forecast a budget and stick to it. It will also help you to identify where you might be able to save some money.

For instance, if you’re planning a night out with your friends and also planning on buying them gifts, why not suggest scrapping the gifts this year in favour of a night out, or vice versa. Similarly, agree with your partner not to do gifts this year, or set a strict budget – you might find the lower the budget, the more thoughtful the gift will be.

If you have some wiggle room, it might be worth setting a contingency amount to give you some leeway to spend a little more. Some gifts might end up cheaper than you thought so as you buy, update your budget, reallocating spare cash where it’s needed.

2. Take on some extra shifts

Even with some clever planning, we all know Christmas can be expensive. With that in mind, it might be worth considering some extra shifts.

Get The Shifts has just announced it has 150 casual roles available in Belfast between now and Christmas, with even more to come right across NI in 2019. The staffing solution connects people looking for casual shifts here and there with hospitality businesses in their area over smartphone. With full training provided, the company is currently encouraging those already in the industry and in need of additional hours, those looking to break into the industry, students, stay-at-home parents or anyone looking for extra work to get in touch.

Successful applicants, known as Superstars, are given a profile on the Get The Shifts app. Businesses in need of temporary staff then browse through available profiles using filters and offer a shift to candidates they find suitable. Superstars accept only the shifts they want to work, with no minimum commitment to the amount of shifts they accept.

Speaking to Belfast Telegraph, founder Hannah Wrixon said, “With Christmas just around the corner, we are incredibly excited to have launched in Northern Ireland and can provide shifts for those looking to earn some extra money. Northern Ireland has a thriving hospitality market with excellent talent in its major cities and hospitality hubs across the region and as a result is a promising market for us. For more information visit gettheshifts.com.

3. Start spending and saving now

It’s a good idea to think about spending and saving as early as possible. Buying a gift every week, or buying one big gift a month between now and December 24th will alleviate a lot of financial strain. As an added bonus this will mean you’ll have more time to get in the Christmas spirit, by listening to carols and drinking mulled wine whilst wrapping your gifts. If you’re not keen on committing to gifts this early, you might find that putting some money away each week works just as well.

4. Check vouchers and reward points 

We’re all guilty of saving gift vouchers in our wallets for a rainy day, or forgetting about them altogether. You might find you have a few pounds left to spend. Similarly, it’s worth remembering that you might be due some vouchers from grocery stores which can always be saved up to use on decorations, presents or the all-important turkey! Better yet, you might be able to buy some gifts at your local grocery store with most now stocking excellent book sections.

5. Avoid temptation

We all get excited at Christmas but with that excitement comes temptation to buy things we don’t really need. Granted it’s easier said than done but sticking to your guns will pay off in the long run, especially in January when the sales come along and you might want to nab a bargain. 

Belfast Telegraph