Did you know that a third of Britons will turn to credit to meet the cost of Christmas? Our partners at London Plus Credit Union have pulled together 10 great tips to help you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year without racking up debt.
- Be organised and make your money stretch Last year one of our members told us how she bought presents for 15 teenage girls for less than £35. These included cute purses, lovely leather clutch bags and sterling silver bracelets. She planned in advance by ordering from overseas on Ebay. She had to wait a little longer for the goods to arrive but saved a fortune!
- Keep a beady eye on online discounts and sales You may have noticed that more and more shops are discounting products outside of the usual summer and winter sales. Black Friday is a good example and a recent addition to the savvy shopper’s calendar as every November retailers compete to offer the greatest discounts.
- Secret Santa It’s always the thought that counts when it comes to family and friends. Put everyone’s name in a hat. Each person picks one name, with a maximum spend limit set for all. As everyone gathers around at Christmas and opens their presents, they can play guessing game as to who bought it. More importantly, it saves you buying something for everyone and leaves more pounds in your pocket.
- A present treaty As families grow so does the cost of Christmas. Instead of buying a present for each member, you buy for their family and they buy for yours. Reduce the cost by suggesting one family present each such as a board game.
- A Christmas IOU Make a snazzy ‘I owe you’ card that tells your loved ones that they will be getting their present as a New Year gift instead. Take advantage of the biggest sales of the year that usually start on Boxing Day and get everyone their presents at a fraction of the price.
- Electronic Christmas cards Every year we spend a staggering £200 million on Christmas cards. To post just 20 cards by second class post costs £12.20. Join many others that send messages using technology such as Facebook, Twitter, Viber, WhatsApp and email. You can insert seasonal images and make the message really personal. Or why not do a Christmas day Zoom call with all the family? Just think how much money and trees this would save!
- Super saver Christmas By doing one or more of the above tips will help you to spend what you have and avoid bringing out the credit card or going into unnecessary debt. Write yourself a budget and only spend what you have. Try not to feel pressured by all of the Christmas consumer hype.
- Prioritise your expenses Christmas is just one day! Calculate your income and prioritise your core costs for the entire month such as your rent, council tax, food and utility bills before buying presents you may not be able to afford.
- Make the right choice when borrowing Avoid payday lenders, pawnbrokers and illegal money lenders who might make it easy to get money but the high interest on the loans means you will be repaying them when Christmas is a distant memory.
- If you do feel that you need to borrow a little this Christmas, make a smart choice.
Being an NHG resident makes you eligible to apply for a small, affordable, responsible loan from London Plus Credit Union. See below for a current promotion especially designed for young families.
Use the credit union to help you save for next Christmas. It’s hard to think about next Christmas when you are only planning or recovering from this one, but it’s the smart move. If you save £5 a week from January 2021, by Christmas you’ll have £260!
Special Offer for NHG tenants
We understand that the pandemic has placed an enormous strain on household finances and it has never been more important to make the right choices when it comes to borrowing or setting aside a little bit of savings.
We want to offer a helping hand to families by supporting them should they need a short term loan**. This might be used to cover an unexpected cost such as a household item breaking down, children’s clothing or to meet the cost of Christmas.
If you are eligible**, you can borrow up to £500 over a 40-week term, payable by using your child benefit as a direct form of repayment. An automatic £1 per week will be set aside to a savings account and on the basis you repay the loan set within the loan agreement, NHG will top up your savings by an additional £80.
NHG Family Loan
- No credit check
- £500 over 40 weeks at £14.35 per week with an additional £1 per week savings
- Total cost of credit £573.76 (£500 + £73.76 Interest)
- Repayments by child benefit only
- NHG will pay an additional lump sum of £80***
- Apply here
**Loans are subject to eligibility and affordability assessments. Terms and conditions apply, 42.6% APR.
***Savings bonus is only offered to tenants where they have met the repayment as set out in the loan agreement. This is a time limited offer and is subject to availability
A credit union is a financial institution authorised and by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Firm No 473340