It may seem like all the money is flying straight out of your bank account this month, but payday isn’t as far away as you might think.
There are also a range of additional benefits available in December that could ease some pressures amid the cost of living crisis.
Here are some key money moments to know about this month – and why they matter.
When will you be paid this month?
Obviously, this varies from employer to employer, but if you get paid at the end of the month, you may find that date is brought forward before Christmas.
Christmas falls on a Sunday this year, with Monday 26 and Tuesday 27 December also being public holidays (the 27th is the replacement holiday for Christmas). So if you need to be paid on one of these days, you’ll likely find that your employer pays you in advance.
Cost of Living Calendar – Reveal a different story every day
Monday, January 2, is a substitute holiday for New Year’s Day (which falls on a Sunday), so if you’re expecting some form of payment or benefit, you may also find it arrives earlier.
Most companies post their pay dates in advance, so check with your employer to make sure you don’t risk missing any bills.
What benefits are due in December?
Energy discount: The third energy discount worth £67 is sent in November. It is part of six payments that will see households receive £400 towards their energy bills.
DWP Christmas bonuses: The Department for Work and Pensions is sending a one-time, tax-free £10 payment to people on certain benefits. You don’t need to claim it and you should get paid automatically.
£300 for pensioners: Pensioners who receive a winter fuel payment will get an extra £300 this month, thanks to the government’s recently announced cost of living payment. These winter fuel payments are normally worth up to £300, meaning the maximum a person can get is £600. Again, you will be paid automatically and this should arrive in your account before January 13th.
Scotland: Thousands of families who live in Scotland will receive £260 from the Scottish Government to help with the cost of living. These bridging payments are granted to low-income households with children who receive school meals. The December transition payment was supposed to be £130, but has now been doubled.
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Other key dates to watch:
December 13 – Employment figures
These will show us the latest unemployment rate and give an idea of the state of the UK economy. In December, the unemployment rate fell from 3.5% to 3.6%, as the number of people in employment fell by 52,000.
14 December – Latest inflation figures from the ONS
These figures will show how much daily needs have increased – when inflation is high, it means the cost of living has increased. Food inflation reached 12.4% for the year to November. These numbers will tell us if things get worse.
December 15 – Bank of England Interest Rate Decision
The Bank will meet to decide whether or not to raise interest rates for the ninth consecutive time – they are currently at 3%. If interest rates go up, it means you will pay more to borrow money and therefore your mortgage could go up.
December 18 – Pension credit cut
If you think you might be eligible for pension credit, this is the last day to backdate a claim to qualify for the £342 cost of living payment. You can find out if you are eligible on Gov.uk.
22 December – Latest ONS GDP figures
These figures will show whether the economy has grown or shrunk – earlier this month the ONS said the UK had shrunk by 0.2% in the three months to September. Successive quarters of negative growth are what we call a recession.
December 26 – Boxing Day Sale
If you’re hyper-organized and looking to stock up for next year, Boxing Day sales can be a great way to keep gifts cheap. But, if you’re struggling for money, avoid the temptation and ignore them altogether – remember that no deal is ever as good as it won’t be seen again.