Financial planning tips: preparing a budget for next Christmas

David Watson

David Watson

Chartered Financial Planner

Is it too early to start thinking about Christmas 2019? It’s not unusual for us to speak to clients who are looking to consolidate credit cards debts into their mortgage following a Christmas splurge. Whilst this will cut down their outgoings in the short term it is no way to run their financial planning.

So, to avoid the post-Christmas headache when the bills arrive and your next pay day isn’t until the end of January, it’s a good idea to get a plan in place now.

We believe that budgeting is a crucial life skill which everyone should learn. As my first boss said to me, ‘if you earn £200k per annum and spend it all you will end up in the same situation as someone earning £15k who spends it all’.

So where do you start?

Keep a list to track your spending

It might sound simple but write down a list of everything that you buy at Christmas, even those presents you buy yourself when you go out shopping for others. According to a recent research from the Money Advice Trust National Debt line, if you are the average family you will spend around £800. This will probably sound like a lot to some and not much to others, but apparently this is the average. 

Open a dedicated savings account

If you open up a separate savings account now and set aside £67 each month just after payday (around £2.20 per day) you would have £800 for Xmas next year.

If you do this for other large annual expenditure which is likely to continue year on year for example holidays, car services, golf club memberships, you should find that you have the basis of a basic financial plan, and hopefully some disposable income which can then be used to plan for the future.

Need more budgeting tips?

More useful budgeting tips can be found on the following websites:

Government run Money Advice Service

Martin Lewis’s Money Saving Expert website

Got a question?

If you have a question about financial planning we recommend that professional advice is sought with your financial adviser before taking action. Get in touch with a member of the Johnston Carmichael Wealth team.

This article is for information purposes only and should not be construed as an individual recommendation.

All statements concerning the tax treatment of products and their benefits are based upon our understanding of current tax law and HMRC practices both of which are subject to change in the future. Levels and basis of reliefs from taxation are also subject to change and are dependent on your individual circumstances. 

Disclaimer: While all possible care is taken in the completion of this blog, no responsibility for loss occasioned by any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the information contained herein can be accepted by this firm.