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Top five Christmas Budgeting tips…

(from the people who know best – Parents!)

We’re in the final throes of panic shopping. Just 3 more sleeps and we can all relax into a haze of bucks fizz, eating chocolate ‘til we vomit and arguing over the remote control.

We had over 100 responses in our Family Budgeting Survey and it’s still live if you fancy taking it. One of the questions was about budgeting for Christmas and we thought it might be useful to take a quick look at the answers and share some tips with the last minuters.

1. She’s making a list, she’s checking it twice…
14% of our respondents are ardent list makers – and they stick to them! Lots more have a plan in mind for how they break down their spend, for example:

“…budgeting depends on the person we're buying for. We might spend £50 - £100 on our children but a lot less for a more distant relative. Budgeting also depends on whether we're entertaining over Christmas or visiting others.”

2. Christmas really does begin in August
For many of you it’s all about planning, shopping little and often and squirrelling bits away. Spreading the load can save a huge amount of cash, providing you remember where you’ve hidden it all!

“Start shopping early, a child per month from July then everyone else in the last 2 months”

3. Get creative.
Needing to budget can bring out your creative side. My children have turned the living room table into a workshop this year and made presents for everyone, if you’ve got crafty tendencies this is the best time to show them off. Otherwise, agree with family to set a budget and find the best / funniest / most thoughtful gift for that price:

“Usual budget per person from £10-£25. Targeting less expensive shops. Using the internet to check prices before shopping to give me an idea of the value of an item.”

4. Avoid credit!
Of course that’s easy to say and for some it’s the only way to get through the festive season. However, most of our respondents were of the ‘save then spend’ mindset, and those who weren’t were already planning how to address their debt post Christmas:

“All presents are bought on credit card then we pay off over the first few months of the following year - transferring balance/taking out new credit card if necessary.”

5. It’s Christmas! Let’s not forget why we’re all here.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the spending frenzy but ultimately Christmas should be about taking stock and remembering the simple things. Don’t bankrupt yourself thinking that’s the way it has to be. Most of our respondents budget to spend £500 or less and many go for the £10 - £25 per person option and spend that wisely. And you know, there is another option:

“We agree a charity for donations instead of presents”

Merry Christmas everyone, hope it’s a good one.

Thursday, 22nd December 2011

Tags:   christmas  /  budget  /  presents  /  parents  /  children  /  survey
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