Tips on how to make money go further over Christmas have been given to people in Mansfield who are receiving Universal Credit.
Hundreds in the town were moved over to the new, simplified one-stop benefit when it was rolled out in September.
But their payments over the festive season are likely to be earlier or later than anticipated because Christmas Day and Boxing Day, which are both public holidays, fall on a Tuesday and Wednesday.
This means money will need to be carefully managed, so to help claimants get through Christmas, financial experts have come up with a range of tips.
The experts are from Money Advice Service, a provider of free and impartial financial advice, set up by the government. Their main pointers are:
IF you want to buy anything in the Boxing Day sales, make a note of the item’s price now to see if the saving is worth it.
BEFORE you do your Christmas food shop, use a comparison tool to weigh up the price of your basket.
MAKE a meal plan for all the leftover food after Christmas to ensure none of it goes to waste.
LEAVE your shopping until the last minute because prices often start to come down by December 20.
IF you’re staying with friends or family over Christmas, set the heating in your home to a lower temperature to save money.
SAY yes to Christmas drinks, but no to expensive cocktails, and stick to house wine and beer.
TAKE your loyalty cards everywhere because many retailers offer bonus points over the festive period.
GET cashback on any presents that you buy online.
AND don’t borrow! It’s not worth it just for a few days.
Money Advice Service has also created a money manager tool on its website that provides tailored information for Universal Credit claimants.