Renfrewshire Council

Five top tips to save money this Christmas

Christmas can be a costly time of year, with many worrying about debt.

At least a third of all families will spend more than they can afford this Christmas, leaving many struggling in January.

If you're trying to save money this Christmas, check out our top saving tips.

1. Budget - Before you head in to do your Christmas shopping, work out how much you can afford to spend and set yourself a budget. Remember Christmas is only one day but debt can hang around for years.

Try using this handy Christmas planner created by the Money Advice Service for your budget: www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/tools/christmas-money-planner

2. Do you really need that present? - Don't buy any unnecessary presents. Why not agree a present spend for each person with your friends and relatives before Christmas or agree to just buy for the children?

3. Don't buy too much food - We all like to indulge at Christmas but wasting food can be expensive. Plan your menu and only buy what you need from the supermarket.

4. Bills come first - Your bills should be paid before you think about what you are going to spend at Christmas.

5. Avoid payday lenders - If you do need to borrow at Christmas make sure it's not from a high interest payday lender. You have other options available to you, including credit unions and Fair for You, which supplies household goods at a reasonable interest rate. Visit www.RACA.org.uk for more information on low cost credit options.

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