Christmas money management tips

We’re sharing some useful tips and resources to help you make the most of your money over the festive holidays

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8 Dec 2021

With Christmas just around the corner, families across the UK are stocking up on gifts, decorations, food and planning activities with friends and family. But without some careful budgeting, it can be easy to overspend and end up in financial troubles.

We’ve put together some useful money management tips and resources to help with budgeting over the holidays:

Know what you’re spending, and only spend what you can afford

With the amount of seasonal in-store and online sales and increased advertising to draw in busy Christmas shoppers, it can be easy to get carried away with spending on others.

It’s important to factor in your usual rent and bill payments when planning your Christmas spending. Use a budgeting tool, such as the one offered by Citizens Advice, to help you understand what you’re earning and spending to help plan your budget - this way you can start the new year with more understanding and control of your finances.

Get the best deals on gifts and goodies

One of the best ways to save money on Christmas gifts and other items is to shop around for the best deals – and keep a look out for online discounts and vouchers.

Switching to lower cost supermarkets, or buying own-brand, can save you money when stocking up on festive treats or buying your Christmas dinner supplies.

The Money Saving Expert have also put together a list of useful tricks and tips to help you and your family to save money over Christmas.

Set a limit on Christmas gift spending

You may remember seeing this viral video from Martin Lewis, which received over 17 million views on Facebook, calling for a ban on unnecessary Christmas gifts. While making a No Unnecessary Present Pact (NUPP) isn’t for everyone, organising a Secret Santa or putting a cap on gift spending can also help make cutting down costs at Christmas more manageable.

Avoid loan sharks

According to Stop Loan Sharks, Christmas is the second highest reason that people borrow money from loan sharks. It’s very important to avoid loan sharks – they’re illegal and charge the highest rates.

Watch out for warning signs of loan sharks and report them if you or someone you know is approached by one. Loan sharks rarely provide paperwork, charge huge interest payments, and often ask for important items as security on loans, including passports, bank cards and driving licences.

If you do need some extra money to get you through the holidays, you could set up a Credit Union account where you can save and get a loan. Find your nearest Credit Union.

If you can, try to start saving for next year. Putting a little money away each month soon adds up and means you’ll be better prepared for the extra costs that come with the festive holidays.

If you are looking for help and advice to manage your debt and finances, Citizens Advice and Step Change offer lots of free and useful information

Check your benefits payments

Every penny counts at Christmas time, yet every year millions of people continue to miss out on claiming the benefits that they’re entitled to.

National charity group Turn2Us offers a free and confidential benefits calculator that you can use to help you find out what benefits you’re entitled to claim. 

They also offer a useful search feature to help find out if you are entitled to any hardship grants in your area.

If you receive Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit then you may be eligible to apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) through your local council for financial support with housing costs.

The DWP have launched a new webpage to help people understand what support they can access through Universal Credit whether they are in work, looking for work, or unable to work.

Get some help with heating costs

Many of us worry about rising fuel costs, so it’s important to make sure you’re not missing out on any benefits or discounts you’re entitled to that will help you keep your home warm.

You may be able to claim financial and practical help with heating your home.

Grants available include the Winter Fuel Payment and the Cold Weather Payment. You could also receive a discount off your electricity bill for winter under the Warm Home Discount Scheme.

Find out more:


Thirteen are working with Energy Angels to help our customers manage their energy bills.

Visit their dedicated webpage for access to a free energy comparison service, along with information about government funded discounts and support services available for those struggling with energy bills.

Prioritise your important bills

We understand that money can get tight around the holiday period which can sometimes impact on paying priority bills over Christmas and New Year.

The last thing we want is to take action for arrears, so it is important to not put your home at risk by missing payments.

We have a quick and easy to use self-service website that you can use if you prefer to pay online. On My Thirteen you can pay your rent, check your balance, book a repair and more! It’s a convenient way to manage your home all in one place, wherever you are and whenever suits you.

We also offer a number of other ways that you can make a payment to help make it as easy as possible for you to pay your rent. To see the range of ways you can make a payment, click here.

At Thirteen, we offer so much more than just a home. If you’re worried about paying your rent, you can get in touch for some help and advice.