Festive Finances: Spend and Savour

Christmas is drawing closer, and while we certainly advocate sensible seasonal savings like those we discussed in our first Festive Finances special on savvy budgeting, it has to be said that there are some occasions where targeted spending can make all the difference.

Whether you’re looking to lighten your workload or treat yourself with a well-deserved indulgence, here are some ideas on when it may be worth loosening those purse strings.

Recruit the Experts

Like Santa relies on his elves and reindeer, so you can lean on a team to help you deliver a Christmas to remember.

Your local butcher is a worthwhile port of call when planning your festive feasts. Not only are they likely to provide a calmer shopping experience than a crowded supermarket, they may offer curated selections of higher quality products, with selections to cover the whole Christmas period. Ask for their help to prepare and dress your purchases and you’ll save time and trouble in the kitchen, too, while benefiting from their expert advice on cooking times and techniques.  

If you’re hosting a party or other gathering at home, consider any help you might call on during the occasion itself. Hiring a specialist bartender, caterer or small serving staff could free you up to mingle with your nearest and dearest rather than feeling stuck in the kitchen!

Invest in Convenience

While it can be tempting to take on every challenge ourselves, some small conveniences are more than worthwhile – even Mary Berry herself, for example, favours shop-bought puff pastry over homemade!

A wide range of retailers are making it easy to dish up a festive feast without spending all day in the kitchen and have delivery and collection slots available now for specialist Christmas food-to-order. With everything from delicious canapes, easy sides and spectacular desserts to pre-prepared turkeys and other show-stopping mains, you can impress your guests whatever your cooking skills.

Opting to have your Christmas tree delivered through a retailer such as B&Q offers a hassle-free way to incorporate a cornerstone of the season. For anyone with mobility problems, a tricky stair or hallway to navigate, or no access to a car, or even just those who’d like to have a tree appear ready to decorate at a convenient time, having someone else take care of the selection, packaging and transport of the tree is a tempting option.

Treat Yourself

It’s easy to get swept up in taking care of those around us, especially at this time of year, but making sure to treat yourself, too, is an indulgence we all deserve, and can give a welcome boost before heading into another new year.

Take stock of your year, how you’re feeling, and anything that might give you a welcome boost. That could mean that while you’re stocking up on gifts for others, you pick up something for yourself in the legendary ‘3 for 2’ promotion at Boots. Perhaps you’ll dedicate an evening to going to a screening of a favourite Christmas classic at the cinema, or make sure to pick up your favourite festive tipple or chocolate treats.

You might like to think bigger about what treating yourself could mean this Christmas. Perhaps you’d like to take a break from cooking and hosting entirely, and take your family to a local hotel or restaurant instead? Agree with your spouse to forego gifts in favour of bagging a bargain summer holiday in the January sales, or even head off for some winter sun over the festive period itself?

Whether you choose to save, splurge, or combine ideas from across our Festive Finances series, we hope our advice helps you enjoy Christmas your way.

We’d like to thank all of our clients for choosing McCrea to help set you on a firm financial footing. We look forward to working with friends old and new in 2024 and beyond!

McCrea Financial Services is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.