[x close]

How to save for Christmas with just 100 days to go

17 September 2018

  • UK consumers expect to spend about £750 on Christmas
  • The 50/20/30 rule of saving could help you cover the cost of Christmas this year with just four pay days to go
  • The method encourages people to prioritise paying for essentials and saving a proportion of their wage before using whatever is left for leisure spending

It’s less than 100 days until Christmas and savings experts are urging consumers to consider saving enough for the festive season with the help of a simple budgeting rule. 

Decorations, food and gifts meant the average Brit estimated they’d spend £751[i] on the festive season last year. To save enough to cover expenses in time for Christmas, applying the 50/20/30[ii] rule could help shoppers remain in the black and encourage a longer-term healthy savings habit.

Developed by Harvard graduate Elizabeth Warren to help budgeting and saving, the simple 50/20/30 rule encourages people to split their monthly income, after tax, into three sections: 50% on essential items, 20% to be put away in savings and 30% on enjoying life.



Based on the median monthly disposable income, after tax, of £2,275[iii]

Based on a lower monthly disposable income, after tax, of £1,406[iv]


Essential items








Enjoying life



Essential items could include mortgage payments, household bills and food, compared to the 30% spent on things such as eating out, socialising and supporting lifestyles. This leaves a substantial 20% of earnings after tax for the savings pot.

Louise Halliwell, Senior Savings Manager at Yorkshire Building Society, said:

The cost of Christmas, for many, can be quite daunting, especially if you don’t have a great deal in savings. While in principle this rule encourages people to save money over the long-term, with Christmas fast approaching it could help  you to save and avoid unnecessary expense or worse, debt, when the panic of Christmas shopping kicks in in December.

For those not saving money regularly, using the 20% saving rule of thumb from this month onwards will give shoppers a healthy sum of about £1,300 to draw on for Christmas without breaking the bank. It will also show that saving regularly is achievable and if maintained after Christmas, will help start to build up a healthy savings pot.

Saving can sometimes be an afterthought, with essentials and the nicer things in life taking priority. This way of saving encourages people to prioritise disposable income so that paying for the essentials and saving a proportion of your wage come first and then whatever is left can support lifestyle choices.

Above all, little and often saving is better than no savings at all.

For help getting into the savings habit visit our useful guide here.

[i] YouGov Christmas Spending Intentions 2017

[ii] The 50/20/30 Budgeting Method, Elizabeth Warren

[iii] Office for National Statistics: Household disposable income and inequality in the UK: financial year ending 2017: median annual income £27,300 and median monthly income of £2,275

Disposable income is defined as the amount of money that households have available for spending and saving after direct taxes (such as Income Tax, National Insurance and Council Tax) have been accounted for. It includes earnings from employment, private pensions and investments as well as cash benefits provided by the state.

[iv] Based on an annual salary of £20,000, after tax the monthly disposable income would be £1,406.

Contact the Media Relations team

For all media enquiries please contact the Media Relations team:


The embedded asset does not exist:
Asset Type: YBS_Snippet_C
Asset Id: 1394658781091