Christmas is fast approaching… and after a challenging 2020 festive season everyone is looking forward to having a fantastic time this year.

Are you tempted to throw caution to the wind when it comes to festive spending, or will a healthy bank account be one of the best gifts you give yourself come January?

For those looking to resist the urge to splurge and keep a close eye on their finances this Christmas, Engage has 6 top tips to help you budget and keep your festive season worry-free.

Set a Monthly Budget ?

Overspending can be tempting in the run-up to Christmas, so why not set yourself a budget for the coming months.

Laying out your income and expenses for the run-up to Christmas and calculating what you have leftover is one of the best ways to set a realistic spending budget.

If you have an Engage account, the Envelopes feature will do the calculations for you, and automatically set aside some money into a virtual envelope until it’s needed for those special Christmas shopping days and events.

For example, if you placed £10 a week into an Engage envelope from now until New year, you’ll have £80 set aside by New Year’s Eve! Here’s just a quick example of how Envelopes could be used to help your budgeting.

Envelopes can be accessed via your mobile app or online portal, Click here to download a user guide of our Envelopes facility.

Make use of Sales and don’t forget your Cashback Rewards! ?️

There will be plenty of sales on offer in the run-up to Christmas with both Black Friday and Cyber Monday happening at the end of the month. Keep an eye out, shop around early and make sure you make the most of them whilst keeping your set budget in mind.

And remember, when shopping with your Engage card, you will also receive cashback rewards with our cashback partners so don’t forget to make the most of these!

Make use of notifications ?

It’s easy to lose track of your spending.

With an Engage account you can easily set up notifications using the mobile app (or online account) and you will receive FREE messages whenever you receive funds into your account, whenever a purchase or cash withdrawal is made.

Not only will this help with budgeting, but it will help you notice any unusual transactions, identify any suspicious account activity, and avoid fraud.

Still not convinced? Check out this article highlighting the benefits of account alerts.

Be Cautious with Buy Now Pay Later Offers

Buy now pay later can be tempting, but make sure you know what to look out for and have a firm plan in place to pay the loan back within the interest-free period, otherwise, Christmas could end up setting you back much more than you hoped.

 Avoid High-Cost Lenders – Use your Credit Union for Christmas Loans and Financial Support ?

 Avoid the high-cost lenders and loan sharks. They may offer quick and easy access to Christmas funds, but many will suffer long-term misery and financial hardship as a result of long-term high-interest repayment plans.

If you need a loan or financial support through the festive period, take a look at your local Credit Union. Most offer Christmas loans with upfront fees, no hidden costs, affordable interest rates, and all will have your financial wellbeing in mind. 

If you’re not already with a Credit Union, view our Credit Union locator and find out how to become a member today.  

 More people than ever are sending personalised gifts ?

Not every Christmas present needs to break the bank! Just because it’s the most expensive doesn’t mean that it’s the most valuable. Why not look to craft your decorations and gifts to give your Christmas a personal touch whilst also saving you money!

Here are a few articles for some festive inspiration.

97 DIY Homemade Christmas Gifts – Craft Ideas for Christmas Presents (

 82 DIY Christmas Decorations – Homemade Christmas Decor Ideas (

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