In news that is sure to excite some and elicit a bored-of-this-already groan from others, it is now three months until Christmas Day.
And while the majority of us aren’t going to dig out our festive jumpers or start decorating the house with tinsel just yet, putting a bit of cash aside probably isn’t a bad idea.
New research from TSB shows that nearly half of Brits (46%) have already started saving, but are they saving enough?
According to TSB’s poll of 2,000 adults, people are planning to spend an average of £427 this Christmas – but haven’t factored in additional costs that take the true total to £773.
These unexpected costs include Secret Santa presents and accessories for the office Christmas party, which cost an average of £27.78.
Last-minute gifts add up to £38.13, train tickets and taxis over the festive period cost £46.98 and ‘bits and bobs’ like wrapping paper, ribbons and Christmas cards set us back £22.20.
The survey shows that 23% of Brits anticipate going into debt to cover the cost of Christmas, but TSB says there is still time for people to get ready and avoid having to deal with hidden costs at the last minute.
Craig Bundell, director of current accounts and savings at TSB, said: “Christmas can be an expensive time of year so it’s encouraging to see so many people are already saving up.
“Often, it’s the ‘extra costs’ like travel, party costs, and last-minute presents that people don’t think about which push them over their budget.”
TSB has put together five simple rules to help people cut down on the hidden costs of Christmas:
- Be honest about what you can afford
- Make a budget – and stick to it
- Plan travel costs in advance
- Shop around with a list
- Take advantage of cashback offers and rewards
"From booking train tickets in advance to earning cashback on your day-to-day spending, a bit of forward planning could make all the difference when it comes to comfortably covering the cost of Christmas,” added Mr Bundell.
“With three months to go, there’s still plenty of time to get organised so finances aren’t overstretched come January.”