How To Not Go Broke This Christmas

With all the parties, Christmas shopping and extra eating, it's easy to lose the run of your spending. These five steps will ensure your bank balance stays out of the red.

Girls on a night out

Figure out your flexi spending

The first step to not going over budget is knowing how much you have to spend in the first place. To calculate your weekly flexi spending number, subtract your necessary expenses (think rent, bills and groceries) from your monthly pay, and then divide that number by 4.3. This will give you how much disposable income you have to spend each week. Stick to it and you won’t see your account go into minus numbers – promise!

Work Out ALL of your expenses

Yep, that includes all of the extras. Sure you’ve included presents for your family and friends, and drinks out with your besties, but have you set aside an allowance for taxis, coffee catch ups, meals out and stocking fillers? Not accounting for the hidden extras is a surefire way to slide into the red. Try to have a full, comprehensive and realistic overview of all your spending, not just the big, obvious spends.

Take a breather

Research has shown that it’s super easy to get carried away with your purchases. In fact, a study by Yale And Stanford found that there’s a “shopping momentum effect” that means if you buy one item, you’re more likely to keep spending and buy more. So to avoid buying unnecessary extras when you’re out doing your xmas shopping, step out of the shop for five minutes to break the cycle. Oh, and remember to stick to your list, yeah? Chances are you probably don’t really need that five pack of underwear or that seventh eyeshadow palette.

Don’t go mad with self gifting

We’re all for spoling ourselves, but with one study suggesting that almost 20% of our Christmas budget goes on gifts to ourselves, it might be best to nip those indulgent impulses in the bud. Be selective with your self purchases. And the rest of your lust-haves? Well, they can go on your Santa list, right?

Only spend what you carry

Especially important on nights out, only taking out your exact budget is an easy way to make sure you don’t go overboard. What you don’t have you won’t spend, so leave the bank card at home, lady friend.

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