If your finances are the only area in which you’re feeling lighter right now you’re not alone. (We’re not here to make you feel bad. We’ve been just as piggy with the Quality Street, Roses and Terry’s Chocolate Orange…)
According to the Bank of England a typical household in the UK spends just over £2,500 in a month. However, in the run up to Christmas our spending habits change. We spend on average almost £740 more in December, which is 29% more than in a typical month.
Research carried out by debt management company Lowell in 2021 found that the average person in the UK gets into £439 of debt over Christmas. And according to the same study, it takes the average person four months to get their finances back into shape after the festive season.
There is an alternative to this debt and interest cycle. The Government Money Helper website points out that: “The earlier you start saving, the less you need to put aside each month. Even a small amount over a few months can make a big difference.”
If you’re considering a Christmas savings club however, Money Helper warns of the risks: “Christmas savings schemes are not regulated in the way that banks and building societies are. If the Christmas club you’re saving with goes out of business, you might lose all the money you put into it.”
At Suffolk Building Society, it’s been our mission since 1849 to help provide people with a safe place for their savings. We’re owned by and accountable to our members.
By opening a dedicated savings account solely for your Christmas spending you could hit the shops on 1 November 2022 with a tidy sum in which to stock up on everything you need for the festive season. With a regular saver account, you can set up a standing order from your bank or banking app and just let the money in your ‘Christmas’ account mount up.
And because you can’t access the funds with a few clicks of a button there’s less temptation to access them early because you’ve seen something you ‘must have’.
Regular saving can become a positive and productive habit. James Clear, author of bestselling book ‘Atomic Habits’ believes: “Your life today is essentially the sum of your habits. How in shape or out of shape you are? A result of your habits. How successful or unsuccessful you are? A result of your habits.”
Here are some indicative sums showing what 11 months of regular savings could mean for your Christmas 2022 spending purse.
Monthly amount saved 1 January – 1 November 2022
Christmas Spends (plus interest)
Choosing an account
Not only will your spending money be available, but you’ll have earned interest on it (depending on which account and how much you’ve paid in).
There is a variety of accounts to choose from, depending on how long you’ve been a member of the Society, whether you’re a young person under 21, what type of access you need to your account and whether you want to use your tax-free allowance in an Individual Savings Account (ISA).
Savings accounts can be opened at one of our 10 branches/agencies, or you can apply by post. Simply download the application form for your chosen product using our savings finder on our website and send the completed form with copies of your identification to Suffolk Building Society, Freehold House, 6-8 The Havens, Ransomes Europark, Ipswich, Suffolk IP3 9SJ.
Wishing you an enjoyable, safe start to 2022, from all at Suffolk Building Society.
We’re here to help.