Christmas is still months away, but planning ahead could be a massive factor in easing the financial burden that is often associated with the festive season.
Before gifts are even making it onto supermarket shelves, putting money aside could help in the long-term.
Figures from Halifax suggest that the average amount spent on Christmas last year was £482, with a financial hangover lasting well into the new year.
More than 55% of those questioned said they were forced to cut back their spending in January as a result of excessive festive spending.
Incredibly, 6% of those to respond thought that they were still paying back what they owed into the summer months.
On the basis that there are now probably four paydays before Christmas, putting aside £100 a month would cover the majority of any festive spending.
This figure jumps to £160 from October and highlights why saving from an early date could be so beneficial.
Meanwhile saving from January for the following Christmas would require only £40 a month to be put aside, but this is incredibly unlikely.
“While it seems early to be discussing Christmas, with the average person spending just under £500 on the festive season, it’s never too early to think about how you will pay for it,” said Richard Fearon, head of Halifax Savings.
“Christmas can put real pressure on people’s finances, but putting money aside each month can really help to spread the cost.”
Managing Christmas spending
Using savings at Christmas is one way to cover the costs, while using December’s salary or a credit card are alternative methods.
Using a prepaid card for festive spending could be one way to ensure that families can budget effectively – as funds could be saved onto the card each month to be spent on gifts nearer to the time.
Since only the money on the cards can be spent, no extra spending on Christmas beyond what is planned for would be able to occur.
These cards can be topped up if the budget was to increase, while they can be used in a similar fashion as a debit card for both online and in-store retail.
This could ease the financial burden in the time after Christmas, enabling families to think about their spending throughout the rest of the year, completely worry-free.
Planning ahead could make a considerable difference, even when the festive season is still months away.