In normal months, the typical average household in the UK has a total expenditure of around £2,500, including household bills.
In December, this figure rises by an average of £740 to cover the cost of the holiday period. During this time, our spending on items that normally make up a small percentage of our annual spend increases dramatically.
As you can see, December is a month when our spending dramatically changes and we may well need to use savings or borrowing to make ends meet. In order to know how much to budget, you should first set yourself a limit. We all want to enjoy ourselves but ask yourself three simple spending questions:
- Do you need it?
- Can you afford it?
- Is it available at a lower price?
Setting limits might help curb the overspend this Christmas but why would you want to limit your overspend? Quite simply, we are facing a substantial rise in the cost of living, with the price of essentials increasing considerably. Petrol pump prices remain high, gas and electricity prices are costly despite the Government cap, council tax increases could move ahead of the 3% cap and the cost of our weekly food shop has risen dramatically. If you plan to borrow money to make ends meet, you might find it more difficult to repay that debt within your budget for 2023 and if you deplete your savings, it will be that bit harder to replace them!
So please do enjoy the holiday season ahead but, as always, try not to overindulge as it may lead to a financial headache!
This article is written by Employee Benefits Consultant, Adrian Firth.
All content is correct as of December 2022.