It can feel like all the money is flying straight out of your bank account this month, but payday isn’t quite as far away as you may think.
There is also a range of extra benefits available in December which could ease some pressures amid the cost of living crisis.
Here are some key money moments to be aware of this month – and why they matter.
When will you get 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 pushed forward to before Christmas.
Christmas falls on a Sunday this year, with Monday 26 and Tuesday 27 December also bank holidays (the 27th is the replacement Christmas bank holiday). So if you are scheduled to be paid on either of those days, you’ll likely find your employer pays you beforehand.
Monday 2 January is a replacement bank holiday for New Year’s Day (which falls on a Sunday), so if you are expecting any form of payment or benefits, you may also find this arrives earlier.
Most companies publish their payroll dates in advance, so check with your employer to make sure you aren’t at risk of missing any bills.
What benefits are due in December?
Energy discount: The third energy discount worth £67 is sent out in November. This is part of six payments which will see households given £400 towards their energy bills.
DWP Christmas bonus: The Department for Work and Pensions is sending a one-off tax-free £10 payment to people who get certain benefits. You do not need to claim this, 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 someone could get is £600. Again, you will be paid automatically and this should hit your account before 13 January.
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 being awarded to low-income households with children in receipt of school meals. December’s bridging payment was due to be £130 but has now been doubled.
Other key dates to look out for:
13 December – Employment figures
These will show us the latest unemployment rate, and give an idea of how the UK economy is doing. In December, the unemployment rate rose to 3.6% from 3.5% as the number of people in employment fell by 52,000.
14 December – ONS latest inflation figures
These figures will show how much everyday essentials have increased – when inflation is high, it means the cost of living has increased. Food inflation reached 12.4% in the year up to November. These figures will tell us if things are getting worse.
15 December – Bank of England interest rates decision
The Bank will meet to decide whether to raise interest rates for the ninth time in a row – they are currently at 3%. If interest rates go higher, this means you’ll be paying more to borrow money, so could see your mortgage increase.
18 December – Pension credit cut off
If you think you might be eligible for pension credit, then 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 – ONS latest 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.
26 December – Boxing Day sales
If you are hyper-organised and looking to stock up for next year, the Boxing Day sales can be a great way to keep presents cheap. But, if you are struggling for cash avoid the temptation and skip these entirely – remember, no deal is ever so good it won’t be seen again.