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Digital tools make it easy to save for (next!) Christmas

Christmas might be the most magical time of the year, as Harry Connick Jnr famously sang, but celebrations and gifts often go hand in hand with bigger spending.

With the average price of a turkey up to 20% higher on last year and a whopping 30% higher than two years ago, 2023 looks set to put a serious dent in the wallet of even the savviest of spenders.

Many people put money aside throughout the year to absorb the additional costs of the Festive Season.

That can be either by putting your money away in a savings account on payday or physically stuffing notes and pennies away in an old jam jar.

Even if you haven’t been unable to do this and with just a couple of weeks to go before the Big Day, there are digital tools that could help you start to build up savings to either clear debt in the New Year or cushion the blow of any big nights.

Harness your increased spending with Roundup Services

A number of banks, building societies, credit card firms and financial mobile apps now offer a service to help you round up your spending to the nearest pound, with the difference between the purchase price added to a connected savings account.

So if you’re buying your regular Flat White from Pret a Manger for £3.25 using your bank contactless card, a total of £4 would be taken out of your account, with 75p added to the connected savings account.

How much you save will depend on your spending, but financial mobile app Moneybox, which provides a roundup service to its users, says that on average its customers save £12.37 per week from roundups alone.

Intelligent automatic savings and investing tools

If you have struggled to get into the habit of saving in the past or making a regular lump sum payment seems too much of a commitment, intelligent automatic savings and investing tools could be for you.

Savings app providers such as Chip and Plum securely connect to your bank or building society account and automatically transfer money across to a connected savings account also owned by you.

Using the Apps you can set how much money you roughly want to save, but the App’s technology will scale how much it takes depending on your spending or how much is left in your account. 

For example, Chip automatically makes a save every 4-days. How much it takes will depend on the rules you set up – if you feel it is taking too much, you can reduce the amount it takes.

New Year’s resolutions to spruce up your finances

Finally, if you are not able to build up a buffer in the run up to Christmas, but feel like your finances could do with a bit of TLC in the New Year, there are a number of Apps to help get your finances in order.

For example, the personal finance Apps Snoop and Emma can securely connect to your different bank or building society accounts to give you an overview of your overall financial health. They can also provides tips on budgeting and even analyse your existing contracts to see if there are better deals available on the market. 

Finally, many of these Savings Apps also connect up to cash savings, cash ISAs and investment tools to help you get a return on your savings as well. Shopping around for the best deal can be a great way to make more of your hard-earned money.