Even if you avoid going overboard, the expenses of the festive season soon add up.
Travel to see your loved ones, seasonal outings and treats for the family can all knock a whole in even the most careful budget. Many people fall into the trap of paying for their Christmas goodies on credit – but this can have a longer-term impact as you find yourself having to make repayments well into the new year. Instead, why not try some short-term strategies to boost your income and put a few extra pennies in the pot?
Change bank account
We’ve talked about the benefits of switching bank provider before, and right now it’s a great time to give it a go with multiple different banks offering £100+ if you’re willing to switch to them. It does mean you’ll need to close an existing bank account, as the money is usually only available if you use the current account switch service. But unless you have a good reason to stick with your provider (such as a linked savings account or unusually good customer service), you’ll probably find you can get more or less the same product from any of the main high street banks.
If you want to get the money before Christmas then it’s best to act quickly – but even if you’re waiting until January for the cash to hit your account, it can help cover repayments or replenish savings.
Start earning cash on the side
Short-term second jobs can be a great way to get more income when you need it most. There are options out there to suit every type of worker, from delivery drivers to cleaning jobs and online freelance work. While it’s important to prioritise your downtime and make time your family, working a second job can also be more enjoyable when you know that it’s only for a limited period of time or with a set goal in mind.
Try searching job sites for evening or weekend roles, or think about what marketable skills/hobbies you have. It’s also worth considering a return to the jobs you may have used for a little extra money as a teenager; things like baby-sitting or dog-walking. People will often prefer to hire someone with more life experience for this type of work, particularly if you have relevant experience as part of your career.
Check you’re claiming what you’re entitled to
Surveys from across the UK have shown that hundreds of thousands of people may be entitled to benefits but not claiming them. Whether you’re in work or not, a single person or a family, if you’re on a lower income then there may be additional money available to support you. The entitledto benefits calculator is a great place to start, as it will help you review your current situation and see whether there are any benefits you’re missing out on.
Remember, it’s never worth getting into financial difficulty to pay for presents or a festive spread. However, following these tips can help you create a little wiggle room in your budget, just in time for what’s often seen as the most expensive time of year.