While it’s incredibly easy to lose ourselves in the indulgence of the festive period, the uncertainty of this year and the months to come means we all have to keep a watchful eye on those pounds coming out the bank this Christmas.
Vibe checks in with Sunderland City Council to learn what top tips we can all take to manage our money during the festivities…
Set yourself a budget >>
It’s a simple tip, but we all know how easy it is to get carried away, especially at Christmas!
Careful budgeting will help you to stay organised, enable you to keep on track with your spending and ensure that we don’t endure any nasty surprises come the new year.
Research your entitlements >>
Do you know what your rights are and what money you are entitled to?
The effect of COVID-19 has made it more important than ever to ensure you know your rights and are getting the benefits and entitlements you need – especially over Christmas!
Recycle bows, gifts and tags >>
Keeping hold of gift bags, bows and other Christmas paraphernalia may not seem like much at the time, but just think about how many rolls of wrapping paper and packs of bows you’re likely to go through when wrapping for the big day!
It’s a great way to save the planet and prep for next year.
Vouchers are your new best friend >>
Not only is your present ticked off for that hard-to-buy-for family member, but your gift voucher is paid to a set amount, meaning your budget won’t spiral out of control and you’re able to keep track of what’s entering and leaving your purse.
Get help and advice >>
Make sure you are getting the help and advice you need when it comes to managing. There are plenty of providers across the city who offer free, confidential and independent advice.
You could join the Moneywise Credit Union; it’s an ethical and affordable way to access loans (including transferring more expensive debts for lower repayments), to help borrow wisely or start saving to be prepared for the future.
Take a look at the Company Shop and get reduced price food and household supplies. The Company Shop sells high quality food and household brands at low prices and helps the environment at the same time.
Based at Pattinson North Industrial Estate in Washington, this nifty little store prevents good quality surplus stock going to waste by selling it through its member-only superstore.
Another top tip to save some dosh is making your home warmer for less.
You could qualify for an Energy Company Obligation (ECO) grant – a Government energy efficiency scheme that can help qualifying households keep warm and healthy during the cold winter months and save money on fuel bills – helping you to claw back a few pounds for Christmas!
Whether you need advice on how to access further financial support or learn more about managing money during the winter, head to SUNDERLAND.GOV.UK