How to budget for Christmas 2020.

Christmas is only a handful of weeks away.

 

Lockdowns across Europe mean that we all need something to look forward to, so it’s a great time to start planning for the festive season.

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Follow these steps to get your budget ready for Christmas 2020. 

Food budget

Covid-19 restrictions mean that most of us won’t be able to celebrate the way we usually would. That might mean cutting back on your guest list on the big day, or joining religious services remotely. Keep up to date with government restrictions to plan your Christmas season. In the UK, the rule of 6 is likely to be in force. Work out your food budget based on this. 

Add to budget: A rough total of the amount of food you will need to feed your family over the Christmas period. Take away your average weekly food budget to find out how much extra you will need for Christmas.

Parties and events

The traditional Christmas party is unlikely to exist for most people this year. That means you might not need to buy a new suit or sparkly dress. On the other hand, a new festive outfit might be a great pick-me-up to help you feel more festive. 

Is your December calendar usually packed with catch-ups and drinks with friends? It’s too early to tell if any of those social occasions will be able to go ahead as usual. Estimate the cost of all those extra drinks and meals as best you can. 

Add to budget: Some money for any Christmas clothes you would like to buy for yourself and guess how much extra you’re likely to spend in bars and restaurants this season.

Gifts

It’s tempting to go overboard with gifts this year. We all want to treat out loved ones for getting through a difficult year. Plus, staying at home for much of November and December means a lot more time to think about ordering more presents online. 

Remember that the financial situation of your friends and family may have changed this year. It might be thoughtful to give smaller tokens of appreciation this year rather than exchanging big-ticket items to make everyone feel comfortable. 

Christmas is a special time, but it’s not worth getting into debt. Only buy presents that you can afford. 

Add to budget: Write a list of everyone you want to buy presents for and set a strict budget for each person.

 

Scroll down to add more to your Christmas 2020 budget… 

"We're wishing you all the best for a safe and happy Christmas this year."

Decorations

If your budget already looks large, reuse as many decorations from last year as possible. You could also try making some home decorations (like these ideas from House Beautiful). Reuse an old artificial tree if you have one. Some fun new decorations could brighten up your home, so decide if you want to go shopping for more this year. 

Add to budget: The cost of a real Christmas tree if you need one and any extra (non-homemade) decorations.

Travel

Will you need to travel to get to the place you will spend Christmas? Try to avoid public transport if possible to help stop the spread of coronavirus. If you have no option, book trains or flights early to get the best deal. Remember to follow local government advice on travel during December. 

Add to budget: The cost of transport.

Festive activities

Christmas market trips might not be possible this year. Some towns and cities are still planning to run Pantomimes and other festive theatre shows. Maybe you want to join a wreath making class or take the family to an outdoor ice skating rink. Research some activities that appeal to you, get booking, and cross your fingers and hope that they will happen! 

Add to budget: The cost of any festive activities you would like to try.

Giving

Christmas is a time for generosity. If your budget allows, a charity donation, even if it’s a small amount, can make a big difference. Charities have been struggling to maintain their funding levels in 2020, so it’s a particularly important time to help out if you can. Foodbanks have become a lifeline to millions of families over the year, so consider helping your local centre. 

Add to budget: A donation to help a charity close to your heart.

Finalise your budget

Add together your food, party, gift, decoration, travel, activity and giving budgets. Count the days left between now and the big day, and work out how much you would need to save every day to make this happen. 

Is it too much? Make some compromises. Perhaps you could cut how much you are going to spend on each person by £5-10 or decide that an ice skating trip can wait for next year. 

Good luck with your budgeting and the team at sync. wishes you a very Happy Christmas. Don’t forget to use the budgeting features in the sync. app to stay on budget and see all your accounts, all the time. Download now for iPhone, Android or Huawei.

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