Keep your Christmas Spending Under Control

The months before Christmas are always expensive, and planning everyone’s Christmas presents from your dog to your great-grandparents can be quite stressful. Keep yourself calm and enjoy your Christmas by managing your spending.

If you require extra assistance with understanding how much money you have available to spend an accountant may be able to help. Accountants in Bedford have a team of highly skilled and experienced accountants. They will sort through your finances whether they be personal or for business and will help you understand how much money is available for spending.



Creating a budget for yourself is a great way to start organising Christmas presents. Knowing how much you are going to spend on each person’s gift will enable you to keep track of your spendings much easier.

You first want to take into account the number of people you need to buy a present for. From knowing how many presents you need to buy you can work out a budget for each person. You may also want to spend a little bit more on some people such as your parents or significant others.  


Secret Santa

If you have a large family buying a present for each person can become incredibly expensive. Have a sit down with your entire family and discuss secret Santa. With secret Santa, you can just put everyone’s name in a hat/pot and choose one each. The name you get is the person you need to buy a present for. Doing this means that you all only have to buy one gift, and you all save a lot of money.

Secret Santa isn’t just good for families/friends; it is also perfect for offices/businesses. Doing secret Santa gets everyone in the office involved and brings people together. As a result of everyone being involved, you won’t end up accidentally hurting someone’s feelings because you only bought certain colleagues a present. This is a good way of increasing the office morale to help encourage employees to get through the festive season at work. It will also help everyone get along and come together.


Treating employees

Treating your employees is an excellent way of keeping them sweet and encouraging them to work harder. Christmas, in particular, is a hard time of the year to get employees enthusiastic about work. At this time most people just want to be with their loved ones and go shopping to find the perfect gifts for everyone.

If you need any help managing your accounts for your business this Christmas then a small business accountant in Bedford will be able to help. They will look at the amount of money you have and consider the things you have to spend it on for the next year.


Keep an Eye on Your Taxes

Taxes will creep up on you all the time in everything you do. Wages will be taxed (depending on how much you earn), items bought in the store will be taxed and should you drive one, cars are taxed too. Taxes are easy to lose track of as there are so many and each at a different price. If you’re struggling to keep track, a handy thing to do would be to get a little book and write down all of the taxes you pay in it and the dates at which you pay them. From knowing the taxes you pay, you will be able to keep track of your finances much easier and understand how much money you have left over for treating yourself or others.


End of Year Payments

Even though it’s Christmas and nearly new year, don’t forget about all the payments you need to make. Going all out on Christmas is the best way to celebrate it. However, make sure you have sufficient funds to do so. Whether it’s for business or personal financing there’s always something to pay for. Work out your payments so you know how much you can spend this Christmas.


As a business, you will have quite a few things that you will need to pay-off before Christmas. Firstly, it’s best to pay all outstanding payments before Christmas. This will allow the business to go into the new year with no overdue payments. These payments may be for software your business uses or for other companies whose services your use. Within this, there will be bills that you will need to pay, such as property, electrical and insurance bills. Like usual, each employee will be paid their wages, however, at Christmas a lot of businesses like to give out bonuses for all the hard work throughout the year.

To help organise these payments an accountant will be incredibly useful. They will let you understand how much you can afford to spend on Christmas bonuses and how much you can spend on the Christmas office party. Having a Christmas party gives employees something to look forward to and therefore encouraging them to work harder.


As individuals, we have a lot to pay for. Some people will have more to pay than others, but there are the common payments that will affect nearly everyone. Each one of us has to pay tax. Whether this tax is VAT or PAYE, we have to pay some form. VAT is the most common tax as it is in everything we buy, even if you’re buying something from a store. If you drive, you will also have road tax and car insurance to pay. There are quite a few different types of insurance that we are required to pay such as home, life, health or even pet insurance. Commonly these types of insurance are paid annually. Take this into account and judge how much you will need to be spending on insurance before or after Christmas.

Working out all of your payments can be overwhelming especially if you don’t have a background or any experience in finances. This is when an accountant would be very useful. They will simply look at your accounts and give you an idea of how much money you will have to spend on Christmas after you’ve set aside money for your priority payments.  

Using Your Car for Work Purposes

Can I claim tax back for using my car?

One of the most common expenses that people claim is for business miles this is normally the use of their car for work purposes. You are entitled to tax-free reimbursement for costs of travelling if you are required to travel to fulfil your job.


What counts as business travel?


Business travel includes journeys you have to make to carry out your work. This includes travel from your place of work to visit your customers using your car, motorbike, bicycle or van. Business travel also counts if you are travelling from your home to visit a client, but only for the extra miles from the distance of your home to your place of work. If you work from two offices for the same job, you can also claim travel between the two as business miles.


What are the approved mileage payment rates?


For cars and vans, you can claim 45p per mile for the first 10,000 business miles a year and then 25p per mile for every mile after 10,000. For motorbikes, you are entitled to 24p a mile, even after 10,000 and bicycles are 20p for every mile.

If the driver also is carrying another employee during business travel, then an extra 5p can also be claimed towards business mileage.


If you would like to find out more, then please get in touch with Bedford Accountants today to see what we can do for you!