How should I budget for Christmas?

Mortgage Advice from David Lauder, a Financial Planning Consultant at ESPC...

The issue of budgeting properly around Christmas is something that comes up quite a lot at this time of the year. Here is some mortgage advice for those in Edinburgh or beyond when it comes to budgeting during the festive season...

Expensive time of the year

Christmas is traditionally an expensive time where budgets can be stretched to their limit. Here are a couple of useful tips that can help you through what can be quite a stressful time for some households.

Being disciplined is key, one good habit is to set up a monthly standing order for a set affordable amount throughout the year which can then be used for presents, gifts etc.

Having this come off your salary as soon as you receive it will let you know what remaining money is yours. Obviously it is too late for this Christmas so January 2013 is the time to action this for future purposes.

Future planning

Christmas is a common time for credit cards to be frequently used. Sourcing a credit card with a 0% interest period means you will not be charged excessive amounts of interest that may take longer to repay.

Try to repay this back as soon as possible and only use what you can repay, keep your limit at a sensible amount. Ironically for mortgages, credit cards can be a positive, by using a credit card your credit score will increase and give it more chance of being acceptable for mortgage purposes; it is only a positive though if you manage this debt in a disciplined manner.

Finally opening a budget account, different to the account you pay your salary into, can make the above easier; this highlights what your fixed monthly commitments are and what money you have for your own devices.

Again set up a standing order each month to cover these once your salary comes in, this will then let you live within your means for the remaining surplus ensuring all your bills are paid. This disciplined habit along with a savings standing order will ensure finances remain in order and savings build up as opposed to debt - possibly for a deposit on a property.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and hope to hear from you in 2013 to perhaps help you achieve a New Year resolution of buying that new property.

Talk to David

David 100David Lauder is a Financial Planning Consultant who helps clients to find the most suitable mortgage solution tailored to their circumstances along with identifying any other gaps they may have in their finances. Call David on 07810 522422 for more information.

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