What to do if Christmas cost too much this year

By: Alex Hartley Dec 31, 2015 What to do if Christmas cost too much this year While figures from a recent YouGov survey indicate that many of us intend to spend less this year on Christmas than we did last year, we’re still looking at a cost of £796 on average for each of us over the festive period. There’s no doubt that Christmas is probably the most expensive time of the year – once you add up the spend on food, drink, presents, travel and decorations you are left with a huge bill that can feel unmanageable. The problem is that it’s Christmas and we don’t want to miss out – which can lead to some fairly reckless spending. So, what can you do if Christmas cost a bit too much this year? Cut back It’s the most obvious solution but if you’re short as a result of the festive spend then don’t panic as making a few savings over the coming months can help you get back on the right side of the financial line. Rather than taking any drastic steps, try a few subtle money sav


Time for your New Year’s Financial Resolutions

By: Oliver Jones Dec 28, 2015 Time for your New Year’s Financial Resolutions With the New Year approaching, it’s almost time for fireworks and Auld Lang Syne, popping champagne corks and ringing in the new year with plenty of cheers. Many of us use this rewind in the calendar to take a fresh look at our lives and look for things that need changing, from losing weight to moving on from a career or relationship that has seen better days. If this year you’re considering some new year’s resolutions then perhaps it’s the financial side of life that need a bit of attention? If that’s the case then here are a few of the financial new year’s resolutions that most of us could do with making: Start to budget If you are over the age of 18 and you don’t already know how to budget then 2016 is a great time to start. Budgeting failures are at the heart of financial woes for many of us and it’s such a simple way to start sorting out your finances next year that it’s silly not to. T

How to pay for a last minute Christmas

By: Oliver Jones Dec 23, 2015 How to pay for a last minute Christmas Christmas is just around the corner now and for many of us that means a last minute mad dash to try and organise everything that we simply haven’t had time for until now. If the last time you look at the calendar it was October, and you just don’t know where the time has gone, then you’re not alone. A survey this December by Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks’ revealed that 14% of the UK population wait until Christmas Eve to make a crazy trip to the shops to try and get everything, from turkey to presents. These ‘panic buyers’ made up the second biggest type of shopping group in the survey with figures even worse in London where 20% of people would be white knuckling it around the shops on December 24th. But how do you pay for a last minute Christmas without the spending getting out of control? Have a budget The main issue that many of us have with a last minute Christmas is the fact that this tends to resul

The Boxing Day sales – what to look out for

Oct 13, 2014 Blog RSS feed We’ve had Cyber Monday and we’ve had Black Friday but all savvy shoppers know that this isn’t the end of the sales as far as the Christmas period is concerned. Boxing Day is the traditional start of sale season and remains one of the best opportunities to get some incredible bargains on everything from electronics to beauty and fashion. If you’re planning a trip to the sales this year then here are a few tips. Be ready before Boxing Day As irritating as it is, retailers are always surprising us with sales these days and Boxing Day is no exception. Some stores kick of their ‘Boxing Day’ sales well in advance of the day itself – for example, last year Debenhams started its Boxing Day sale on Christmas Eve. Harrods is probably one of the few sales that still starts on Boxing Day itself and this one is worth queuing for – if you’re in the line when the store opens at 8.30am on Boxing Day then you can expect a red carpet, a celebrity and free hot choc

How to entertain the kids this Christmas

Oct 13, 2014 Blog RSS feed The Christmas adverts have begun in earnest, the clocks have changed, the lights are up, the supermarkets are filling up with chocolate oranges and mince pieces and you’ve had that hopeful wish for a White Christmas at least once in the last week – yes, Christmas is 100% on the way now. While this brings with it considerations of what to buy for everyone, turkey ordering and how you’re going to get a 6ft pine tree on to the top of your car, for parents there’s another dimension to the festive season: the Christmas holidays. Keeping children happy and occupied during the Christmas holidays is an enormous challenge, particularly for anyone who is also trying to balance a job at the same time. No matter what the time you have available – or the budget – there are plenty of ways in which you can keep everyone entertained and inspired throughout the holidays so that they return safely back to school when it’s all over, raring and ready to go for the

Christmas present ideas if you have left it a bit late

By: Oliver Jones Dec 17, 2015 Christmas present ideas if you have left it a bit late Christmas is a wonderful time of year – once you’ve done all the shopping that is! Buying gifts for family and friends is one of the most stressful and expensive elements of the festive season and for that reason is something that many of us will leave until the last minute. Perhaps you’ve been a bit short of time, maybe you’ve been waiting until the next payday before you will have the funds to make your purchases or you might just be totally out of ideas. Whatever the reason, if you’ve left it a bit late to buy your Christmas presents this year then don’t worry as all is not lost – below are some last minute gifts that will still delight. Vouchers Ok so it’s not the most original or inventive of gift ideas – on the surface at least. Vouchers for books or music might generally elicit a groan of boredom from some people but there are so many options for vouchers these days that you can be mu

Money Management Apps

By: Oliver Jones Dec 03, 2015 Money Management Apps Technology has lots of great benefits, including making the way we manage our lives more efficient. Money management apps, in particular, are proving to be a really useful solution to a whole range of different issues, from problems budgeting through to motivation to save. You don’t have to move your entire financial life online but the features, such as push notifications and automatic access to balances, these apps offer can have all sorts of positive effects when it comes to motivating and keeping track. Use your smart phone to make a difference to your finances with these money management apps. The Debt Manager Knowledge is power when it comes to managing your money and this app works to simply show you what debts you have any what there is left to pay. You update the totals with each payment made and you’ll get the satisfaction of seeing them reduce, as well as the peace of mind of knowing that you’re on top of the situati