Don’t overspend this Christmas

13th December

Christmas is the time of year when we tend to overdo everything.  There are so many invitations out, gifts to buy and endless food that it can put a strain on our finances.  If we aren’t careful, we can wind up overstretching budgets and struggling with debt.

“I think the most important money advice for Christmas is to think ‘how much do I have to spend?’ rather than ‘what do I have to buy?’,” says Jasmine Birtles, financial expert and founder of the Moneymagpie website. “If you only have £50, then that’s what you spend. Don’t get into borrowing. It’s hard for you and your family if you’re weighed down with worry about a large debt.”

Give yourself a gift this December by spending less. “Ask yourself how you can get things for free or cheaply,” says Jasmine. If you’re not signed up to a voucher or loyalty points’ rewards scheme with your local supermarket or high street chemist, you’re missing out.  Each year there are various offers from the major supermarkets and many people can use points that they have accrued all year just by doing their regular shopping, and swap these for gifts such as perfume or children’s toys.  The high street chemists often run points schemes that you can then exchange for items in store – it’s a great way to give gifts without breaking the bank.

“Try some ‘negative shopping’,” suggests Jasmine. “Go round the house and sell things you don’t want on eBay or at car boot sales. You can also recycle gifts you’ve been given and don’t want or need. I have a present box going all year round, where I put any great bargains I’ve bought through the year or gifts I haven’t opened.”

If you can’t afford to buy presents, make biscuits, cakes or even chutneys, and put them in nice tins or jars.  If you’ve got a creative streak, try buying items cheaply from your local craft shop and paint a small canvas, or make a nice piece of unique jewellery for someone.  The additional effort to create the gift and the personal touch will be even more appreciated than buying an extravagant gift.

If money is really tight, give a gift of your time. “It’s OK to say ‘I haven’t any money, but I do love you, and this is what I’m giving you’,” says Jasmine. “It could be three babysitting vouchers, a day out with a picnic, or four hours gardening. For older people it could just be a gift of your company. It doesn’t matter, as long as you give a voucher or card that looks lovely and says what the present is.”

Here’s to a less extravagant Christmas and a solvent New Year. Cheers!

twitter icon facebook icon youtube icon linkedin icon googleplus icon

Contact us - We would love to hear from you

New members

Send us a message

Benenden Personal Healthcare
Holgate Park Drive
York
YO26 4GG
0800 414 8001 * (Lines open 8am-5pm, Mon-Fri excluding Bank Holidays)

Existing members

Send us a message

Benenden Personal Healthcare
Holgate Park Drive
York
YO26 4GG
0800 414 8100 * (Lines open 8am - 8pm, Mon-Fri excluding Bank Holidays)

Please note that your call may be recorded for our mutual security and also for training and quality purposes.

Health cash plans

Policies beginning with BEN1
Benenden Health Cash Plan (Bupa)
Anchorage 3, Anchorage Quays
Salford Quays
Manchester
M50 3XL
0800 970 6517*

Lines are open 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday, 8am - 1pm Saturday.

Policies beginning with BEN2
Benenden Health Cash Plan (BHSF)
2 Darnley Road,
Birmingham,
B16 8TE
0800 414 8071

Lines are open 8.45am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday.

Self-pay orthopaedic surgery

Send us a message

Benenden Hospital Trust
Goddard's Green Road
Benenden
Cranbrook
Kent
TN17 4AX
01580 242 521 (Lines open 9am-5pm Mon-Fri)

Health assessments

Send us a message

Health assessments
Unit 1, Cameron Court
Cameron Street
Hillington Park
Glasgow
G52 4JH
0800 414 8486*

Travel insurance

Send us a message

Travel insurance
2nd Floor Maitland House
Warrior Square
Southend-on-Sea
Essex
SS1 2JY
0800 414 8301*

Lines open for Sales
9am-8pm Monday to Friday 
9am-5pm Saturday
10am-5pm Sunday

Lines open for Customer Services
9am-8pm Monday to Friday
9am-5pm Saturday
10am-5pm Sunday

Benenden business healthcare

Send us a message

Benenden Business Healthcare
Holgate Park Drive
York
YO26 4GG
0800 414 8179* (Lines open 9am-5pm Mon-Fri)

Home insurance

Send us a message

Benenden Home Insurance
1st Floor Maitland House
Warrior Square
Southend on Sea
Essex
SS1 2JY
0800 414 8556* (Lines open Monday to Friday 9am – 7pm, Saturday 9am – 5pm, excludes Bank Holidays)

Home Emergency
0800 294 2851* (Lines open 24 hours a day)

Legal Expenses
0330 100 9618* (Lines open 24 hours a day)

Charitable trust

Send us a message

Find out more

Charitable Trust
Holgate Park Drive
York
YO26 4GG
0800 414 8450* (Lines open 8am - 4pm Mon-Fri)