It’s nearly that time of year; Christmas is over, school has started, and people have gone back to work. It’s the perfect time to start thinking about the holidays!

If you can come up with money dedicated just for the holidays, you can avoid using credit cards and getting into debt. It’s easy to become caught up in the fun of planning your holiday and looking ahead to some sunshine. However, if you can manage to spend only what you’ve budgeted, you won’t be hit with a harsh reality when your holiday is over. Here are some tips.

1. Open a Savings Account Just for Your Holiday Savings
Add to it often and resist the urge to dip into it before the holidays!

2. Set Up an Automatic Transfer from Your Bank Account to a Holiday Savings Account
Even £20 a week can add up by August.

3. Set Up a Change Jar
Don’t use exact change to pay for anything; instead, put all your change in a jar. You’ll be surprised how quickly it adds up.

4. Use a Savings App
Apps such as Plum, Tandem, Chip, Cleo and Squirrel (although this isn’t free) help you set goals and save.

5. Cut Costs
Look for ways to save money on monthly bills, such as finding less expensive car insurance or mobile phone service, switching to a cheaper broadband package (or dropping it altogether), and cancelling newspaper, magazine, or game subscriptions. Look at your monthly payments and see what you can reduce or eliminate.

6. Sell Stuff
Summer and fall are the perfect time to clean-out and have a car boot sale. Or place advertisements for your stuff on sites such as Facebook and eBay.

7. Make a Holiday List Now
By giving yourself time to plan you’ll make sure you can buy things at the right price and take everything you need with you, without having to buy last minute stuff at the airport or even when you get there.

8. Use Your Rewards or CashBack Programmes
If you regularly use credit cards, see what you have in points. When you buy stuff you need, make sure you go through sites like TopCashBack.

9. Tighten Your Spending Belt
Give up that morning latte, shop at charity shops, watch movies at home instead of at the pictures, and start making your own lunch every day. By making a few changes in your daily habits, you could save a considerable amount before the holidays arrive. If you’re saving £5 a day by bringing your own coffee each day, be sure to put £5 a day in your savings account.

10. Get a Side Job
Work a couple nights a week and have that money put into your dedicated holiday account.

The best part about saving for the holiday now is that you’re not only saving money; you’re also saving yourself some stress. You won’t have to worry about running out of money. Avoid the credit card debt and the stress; start saving for the holidays now!

On average, those in this age group who do save have £1,600 in the bank – up from £900 a decade ago.

However, a savings gap has also emerged with the top 10% of savers having £15,000 or more set aside, according to the latest figures from 2014 to 2016, compared with the bottom 10% who had less than £100.

Home ownership has also fallen since the financial crisis, with the proportion of 22 to 29-year-olds with their own property falling by 10 percentage points between 2008 and 2017, according to the ONS.

As a result, more were living at home or renting, primarily from private landlords, since the financial crisis.

However, only 37% of this age group were in debt (not including student loans) compared with 49% a decade ago.

Those with debts owe an average of £1,900 – some £100 more than the typical debt 10 years earlier.

The 10% most indebted owed at least £14,200, the latest data shows.  See DebtDrive for more on debt.

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