With only six weeks to go to Christmas, we are all probably thinking about starting the Christmas shopping.  Gifts for all and time to overspend on food and drink.  If you are the type to always end up paying for Christmas right through into the following year then you need to read on.

I was reading an article in the Irish Independent yesterday that mentioned the National Consumer Agency have launched a Christmas Budgeting tool and useful money saving tips to help you keep your spending under control.  While the tips are very practical and sensible.  The budgeting tool might be useful if you like to know exactly where every penny will go, but I am not convinced such detail is necessary.    It sets out the usual costs associated with Christmas such as presents, food and drink and festive decorations. 

That said, it is very important to know what you have to spend on gifts and socialising over the festive period and not end up paying for Christmas 2013 well into the new year.   The best way to tackle Christmas every year, is to budget for your Christmas spending.  In your annual Household budget plan, you should have a “Christmas Fund”.  Once you know how much you spend on average each year on Christmas gifts and over the festive season, you can then plan to save on a weekly or monthly basis towards your spending for Christmas 2014.  Less than €20 a week will give you a budget of €1000 for next Christmas.

BillsManager.com, the easy to use free online tool will help you to budget and manage your bills.    Once your budget plan is set up, BillsManager will enable you to maintain your household budget which should only take 10 minutes a month.  BillsManager will automatically adjust your budget as required so you don’t have to remember to amend the amount if a bill is higher or lower than is stated in your budget plan.