5 steps to support your employees through the cost of living crisis this Christmas
With Christmas just around the corner, retailers have already kicked off their promotions for gifts, products and events. And it’s no surprise that people are eagerly ramping up their spending and making plans. With just two more pay days remaining until the holiday season arrives, have you considered if your employees are finding it affordable?
Is the cost of living crisis affecting your employees’ Christmas plans?
The UK witnessed a significant surge in the cost of living throughout 2021 and 2022. In October 2022, the annual inflation rate peaked at 11.1%, marking a 41-year high before gradually subsiding.
Unfortunately, this has had implications on the affordability of essential goods and services for households, which will ultimately have a knock on effect this Christmas.
Christmas leads to debt for 1 in 5 Brits
Christmas can exert significant financial pressure on individuals, often prompting reliance on credit and overspending beyond their means. Research in December 2022 indicated that due to the cost of living crisis and elevated inflation during the holiday season, as many as 1 in 5 people across the UK could still be paying off Christmas debt up until Easter.
So, with this in mind, is there more that you could be doing to help support the financial decisions many employees are making this festive season?
Nick Perry, Partner at Secondsight, shares his tips to help support your employees through the cost of living crisis this Christmas.
- The big switch off
One way your employees could start to save some money is by switching off their lights when they are not using them. Whilst it sounds simple, it could really make a small difference.
Employees should also make sure they do not leave their Christmas lights on when they are not around them, or even buying solar power ones to save on their electric. It doesn’t have to stop at Christmas lights either. Employees should check all lights are off before they leave the house and utilise natural light as much as possible. They could also switch to energy efficient lightbulbs if they haven’t already, as although the initial cost might be higher, they can help save more in the long run.
You can also encourage your employees to switch off appliances when they are not using them. From their TV, radio and phone charger, to their kettle and toaster. And why not have a few days over Christmas where you turn off the TV, put down the electrical devices and get out the board game!
- Encourage employees to think about their food shop now
With some smart shopping, there are many ways your employees can reduce their food bill over the festive period. This can include planning ahead, writing a list and only buying exactly what they need.
Your employees could also suggest to family and friends that they bring something to contribute towards food and drink, or even consider picking items up on Christmas Eve when they are often heavily discounted.
In the run up to Christmas and beyond, to help save some extra money, employees could create a weekly meal plan, writing a list of what is needed and looking out for any offers which could be of benefit. Remind your employees that convenience foods such as ready meals are usually more expensive, so cooking from scratch can really reduce bills.
- Employee discount schemes
Now is the perfect time to remind your employees of any discount schemes that you offer. Some benefits might include discount vouchers for popular retail chains, including big supermarkets, which could save your employees money this Christmas and even hundreds throughout next year. In addition, it’s also worth reminding your employees of any travel discounts or loans on offer to help with commuting costs. The perfect gift this Christmas could be a new bike, so if you have a cycle to work scheme, it’s worth highlighting this as it can save employees money not only on a new bike, but on their fuel costs now and in the future.
- Create a budget plan
As we enter November, many of us are starting to think about our Christmas shopping and are planning our festive events. A really good tip to share with your employees, is to start to create a Christmas budget planner to incorporate every planned expense in the run up to Christmas. This way, employees will know exactly how much money they can allocate for the festive season on events, gifts, food and even travel costs. This free budget planner can give your employees a breakdown of their finances by category, which could help them manage their monthly budget effectively, and highlight exactly how much they will have left over for the Christmas period.
- 1 degree cooler
Did you know that if your employees turn down their thermostat by just one degree, they could save £145 a year on their heating bill? With the cold weather setting in, this small change could really have a big impact.
It’s also worth highlighting that it’s important they make sure they are on the right energy tariff, as they could save big money by switching.
Whilst these few tips may not have an instant financial impact on your employees, by starting them now, they could begin to see small savings as we head into the new year.
Support and guidance
If your employees are really struggling with the increase to the cost of living, they do not have suffer in silence. Citizens Advice offer free and confidential advice. There is also MoneyHelper, which offers free and impartial help with money, and is backed by government.
Don’t forget, most people will be hit in some way over the next few months, so starting this conversation with your employees now, and sharing just a few tips, could help them have a more financially stable Christmas.
Get in touch
If you want to know more about how you can help your employees to feel more confident about their finances, please get in touch.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0330 332 7143.
This blog is for information purposes only and does not constitute advice or a personal recommendation. Your home or property may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage.
Secondsight is a trading name of Foster Denovo Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Information correct as of 2nd November 2023.