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Christmas tips

Helping you to manage your money and deal with your debts this Christmas.

Christmas top tips

In the run up to Christmas there can be a lot to think about. If you’re also worried about your finances planning ahead and seeking advice can help you to manage costs.

We’ve included below our Christmas top tips, to help ease your worries and help you to manage your finances during the festive season. There is also lots of free information on our website, including over 50 fact sheets, to help you deal with your debt.

Smart saving

Allow yourself an affordable amount in your personal budget for occasional costs like Christmas, birthdays or car repairs. Try to put something aside for unexpected costs and emergencies if you can.

You can also set your festive budget for next year. Our Budgeting and saving fact sheet will help you to complete an affordable and realistic budget. When next Christmas comes around, you'll be ready for it.


Use our personal budget tool to help you work out what you have coming in and going out.

Completing a personal budget will help you to make sure you meet all of your normal household bills and costs. A budget can also help you to decide the best way to deal with your debts and save and plan towards next Christmas.

Start your budget

Free debt advice

If you need advice or support over the festive period, you can contact National Debtline by phone and online. Our webchat service is open until 1pm on Friday 24 December 2021 and open again from 9am on Tuesday 4 January 2021. The advice we offer is always free, impartial, and confidential – call us on 0808 808 4000.

You can also get free debt advice on our website.

Get free debt advice now

Christmas top tips

  • Set your festive budget

Setting a festive budget is probably the single most useful step you can take – but fewer than one in three of us do this. Make a list of the people you want to buy presents for, set a budget for each and stick to it. Plan ahead when it comes to your other shopping too; for example, on food, decorations and visiting family and friends.

  • Keep paying bills

Don’t forget: in December you still need to pay your normal household bills, such as your mortgage or rent and your utilities. If you get paid earlier than usual, consider paying these bills as soon as you can, so you know that what you have left is what you can spend on Christmas.

  • Spread the cost

There are lots of good deals around at Christmas, so make sure you shop around to get the best price. You could leave buying your presents until later in the month as sales often start early. You could also spread the cost of Christmas over the whole of December by buying non-perishable food items earlier in the month.

  • Resist borrowing more

It can be very tempting to borrow money to pay for the cost of Christmas. Think about whether you can afford to pay it back. If you do decide to take out credit, check the terms and conditions and create a personal budget to make sure you can afford the repayments.

  • Just buy for kids

You could agree with your family and friends just to buy for the children. If you still want to buy for adults, you could consider doing a ‘Secret Santa’ so that each adult only buys one gift. Handmade presents are often cheaper and have that personal touch.

We know that sometimes it can be difficult to start a conversation about presents, but you may find that your friends and family are more than willing to go ahead with your suggestions

  • Look out for free activities

With the kids off school there is always pressure to keep them entertained. If you’re not careful, the cost of keeping them busy will soon mount up. Find out if there are free activities in your area over the holiday period. They may be advertised online, in the local newspaper and community centers.

  • Get advice now

If you are worried about your debt, get free debt advice now. Don’t wait until the New Year. The earlier you seek free debt advice, the sooner you can deal with your debt and ease your worries.

  • Enjoy Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! We hope it is filled with love and laughter. If you need advice or support over the Christmas period you can get free debt advice, 24 hours a day, on our website. Want to speak to an adviser? At National Debtline we can help, find the ways you can get in touch with us here.