Christmas Q&A

 

Christmas can be an expensive time of year, and can often lead to overspending. The good news is that with some careful planning, you can make sure spending wisely doesn’t mean sacrificing the things that make it special.

Here we answer your questions on how to have a great Christmas without losing control of your money.

Last year, I lost track of my Christmas spending, and was paying it off on a credit card until July. How can I keep on top of it this year?
Maggie, Stoke-on-Trent

It’s easy to get sucked into overspending at Christmas, so the key thing is to make a budget and stick to it. List what you need to buy, and don’t be tempted to pick up anything that isn’t on your list.

And even the most disciplined shopper can benefit from some forward planning. Putting a small amount away each month throughout the year can make a big difference when it comes to Christmas. With January sales just around the corner, why not get a head start on planning for next year?

Consider a separate savings account for your Christmas fund.

I have a large extended family, with lots of young children, and the cost of presents soon adds up. How can I save money but still get gifts for the people I love?
Sangita, London

Set a price limit for presents, stick to your budget, and don’t feel pressured into spending more than you can afford.

If your relatives also buy presents for your family, then it can be a good idea to agree the price limit with everyone.

Finally, secret santa works great for large families. Everyone picks a name out of a hat and then buys a gift for that one person. A spending limit should be set upfront. Secret santa is a great way to ensure you don’t overspend on gifts, and everyone can join in on the fun.

Where can I find the best deals on my Christmas shopping?
Nathan, Burnley

The simple answer is the same places you find the best deals on your weekly shop all year round. Christmas is a special time, but your money-saving tactics shouldn’t change. Do your research, compare prices and always be budget-savvy.

It’s been a tough year, and I want to give my kids the best Christmas to make up for it. How much should I be budgeting to spend?
Del, Edinburgh

Every household is different, so there is no amount you need to spend to ensure a good Christmas for your family. The things that make Christmas truly special usually don’t cost a penny anyway, so focus on what really matters to you.

It may feel natural to want to buy your children everything on their wish list, but if that takes you over budget, ask them to pick the one thing they really want.

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