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Top tips for protecting your finances this Christmas

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By: Sharon Davies– CEO of Young Enterprise

Christmas can be an expensive time for many, with buying gifts and travelling to see family quickly adding up. These financial pressures are a particular headache for students and young people, who might be handling their own finances for the first time. 

At Young Enterprise we want to help young people manage their spending throughout the festive period, so here are some of our top tips to save money over the coming weeks.

1.Look out for student discounts

Many high-street brands offer student concessions through platforms such as Student Beans and Uni days as well as in-store. Discounts are available all year round for a huge range of products, clothes, technology and even meals – there are some great savings to be made by doing a little bit of research.

2.Be mindful of BNPL schemes

Buy Now, Pay Late rschemes are offered by most major online retailers, but be aware that they can encourage you to spend more than you planned. Tempting offers of deferred and split payments rarely mention the additional 25% extra of small print fees or the use of debt collection agencies for missed payments. We would recommend making sure anyone using these schemes has a plan to pay off the debt in the coming months and to set spending limits before hand to avoid a serious case of buyer’s remorse in the New Year!

3.Seek financial guidance from others

If someone is in financial difficulties, talking to a trusted friend or mentor can help. Guidance could come from a relative, an academic tutor, or a specialist advisor through the university’s Student Advice Service. These conversations can help solve immediate financial problems and enable increased financial capability in the future. 

4.Understanding the Ts &Cs

If debt can’t be avoided, what are the options? Credit cards usually come with interest payments; could an agreed overdraft could be the better option? Overdraft arrangements can vary between banks, so it is important to understand the terms and conditions which will be available on the bank’s website. Being fully clued-up on these terms and conditions and bank charges can help avoid unexpected fees. 

5.Make a New Year’s resolution to plan and save ahead 

We know that it can be difficult to find any spare cash while studying at university so this is where budgeting proves invaluable. Working out what’s coming in and going out each month will help identify if there is anything left over to save. And putting just a small amount of money away from a student loan or part-time job can really help for those times when there are unexpected or significant costs to pay, like a visit to the dentist or a deposit for student accommodation.

We hope some of these tips help young people avoid a festive spending spree that creates a New Year’s headache so they can start January on a positive financial footing. 

About Author: Sharon Davies is CEO of Young Enterprise, a charity that helps young people develop the skills to earn and look after their money.

www.gawdo.com

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