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NOW CLOSED: Talk to Experian CreditExpert about budgeting this Christmas - you could win a £200 voucher for a major retailer of your choice

(205 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 24-Oct-12 08:22:35

We've been asked by Experian CreditExpert to find out what budgeting plans you have in place for Christmas this year (2 months to go, folks! grin).

They'd like to know what plans you have to get finances in order - or is it something you manage well, try to avoid thinking about or leave 'til the new year to sort?
Do you wait for sales or discounts when buying gifts - does this help you?
Do you set budgets for gifts, food, drink etc - if so, why? If not, why not? Has this changed since the recession started?
Do you shop online or do you prefer to buy gifts in person? Do you feel safe shopping online?
What money saving tips can you pass on to others at this festive time - for example - do you make your own gifts? Do you buy fewer gifts?
How much will you and your family spend on Christmas this year? Have you been saving for Christmas or buying things over the last few months or year?

Any other thoughts on the cost of Christmas all welcome.

Add your views and you'll be entered into a prize draw where one winner will get a £200 voucher for a major retailer of your choice - in time for Christmas!

You can find more info on CreditExpert here: https://www.facebook.com/ExperianUK

thanks and good luck
MNHQ

moonbells Wed 24-Oct-12 14:20:31

Do you wait for sales or discounts when buying gifts - does this help you?
Yes, and yes. I've kept one toy hidden for DS since last year's Amazon Black Friday!

Do you set budgets for gifts, food, drink etc - if so, why? If not, why not? Has this changed since the recession started?

Yes to gifts - extended family are usually quite good, only paying a given amount per person. Food we're a bit more relaxed with. I don't drink and DH not much, so that saves a lot of £.

Do you shop online or do you prefer to buy gifts in person? Do you feel safe shopping online?
Online. I LOATHE going shopping. Food I can cope with, but presents and clothes... ugh. I'm the one with the list at shop opening time charging round to get everything on it and escaping home as fast as possible. We each keep one credit card solely for online and phone purchases.

What money saving tips can you pass on to others at this festive time - for example - do you make your own gifts? Do you buy fewer gifts?
I don't like surprises and am bloody awful not terribly good at thinking what to get people. So I ask people what they'd like. Then you know that it won't be looked at in horror and regifted or, basically, wasted. I wish my ILs would realise this! (Thinks of bizarre chunky pugugly costume bracelet I got a few years back - I only wear minimal jewellery, and it's never been out the box)

How much will you and your family spend on Christmas this year?
Heck, no idea!

Have you been saving for Christmas or buying things over the last few months or year?
We save supermarket vouchers. Have cashback credit card each and spend everything on them, then pay them straight off. Gets us between 0.5% and 1% back. Mounts up when you're buying everyday shopping and especially petrol. We also link in as many other sellers as we can, eg Shell club> Waitrose points and E.On > Tesco clubcard vouchers. The latter we use for stuff we'd otherwise have to pay a lot for.

Joandmike81 Wed 24-Oct-12 14:25:21

I've got a budget of £350 for Christmas this year. That is just for presents for family and friends as we spend Christmas day at my parents and Boxing day at my inlaws.

I've been using cashback websites all year, for everything and have been saving up the money to spend at Christmas.

I normally make a homemade hamper of goodies for my aunt and uncle, we make our own wine from fruit trees, and jam. I also make biscuits/shortbread and sweets for the kids.

i will also be looking out for deals on books, I insist on buying the children in the family books for birthdays and christmas as they get so many toys that get left and forgotten about. They seem to like getting books though as I now get lists of potential books to buy from each of them.

My hubby and I won't be buying each other big gifts this year, I've picked up a couple of small things for him when I've seen them, but otherwise, we will focus on our daughter.

I also save up my Tesco club card vouchers and have been doubling them up to get extra things like wine, toys, etc..

I tend to mix between shopping online and in store, I always check the price of something instore if I've seen it online and online if I've seen it in store. I then also check voucher websites to see if I can get voucher and then check to see if I can also get cashback on it.

My money saving tip is to research, check and double check to make sure you have got the best deal, don't just buy something because it is buy 3 for 2, it may not always be the best deal!

jill316 Wed 24-Oct-12 14:29:01

* im a mum of 5 so for the last few years i have relied on personal loans (provi etc) as help for my kids and families presents but this year i started early as i found id spend all year paying the loans back and then take them out again at xmas and repeat the whole cycle. and they add so much on top of the loan too. so this year i also started saving up my spare change in a pot and buyin savings stamps where i do my main xmas shop. it has been abit of a struggle but it will be worth it.

* if i see a good deal on stuff when im out and i have the money i`ll always grab it, in sept argos had some good 3 for 2 offers on and i snapped loads of bits up for xmas . i got 3 duvet sets for £50 but if i bought them when the offer was over it would have cost £75. always look out for offers u save sooo much money
* i always set out to stick to a budget but i admit i have a hard time sticking to it. say i say ill only spend £30 on my sisters, and then once i spent the £30 i see something one of them will love, ill buy it but then i have to buy the other sister something else so they dont get less. i dont go wildy overboard thou as i dont have the money too go crazy. and this year we have all agreed not to go mad as no one has the money to with things being so bad at the min. and its the same with food, i have a list in my mind but them ill see offers etc and buy them aswell.
* i mix online with shopping in person. i will ALWAYS look online for what im buying before i go in person, that way i can see whos got the best price for what i want. i dont drive so big stuff also gets ordered online. also look for voucher codes online, you can save alot of money with discount codes something you cant do in store.
* always check prices online bfore you go shopping if your getting something in partctiular, look for offers but dont buy things just because they`re on offer. search for discount codes/free delivery codes if your buying online. make homemade cards, cheaper and more fun to do-the kids will enjoy
it-.
* on my 5 kids, my mum and dad and my 2 sisters and food and drink i will prob spend £1000. which may sound alot but i was talking to a friend the other day and she plans to spend that much on just her 2 kids!!! i have been buying presents since sept (one or 2 a week) and i really think its the best way to do it as i havent been noticing it as much as when i leave it til the last min and then struggle to have enough money to pay bills and buy presents. i will def do the same again next year as i am less stressed than i was last year and will not have to take out huge loans so will be better off next year too!

BelinaTheChicken Wed 24-Oct-12 14:33:00

They'd like to know what plans you have to get finances in order - or is it something you manage well, try to avoid thinking about or leave 'til the new year to sort?

Do you wait for sales or discounts when buying gifts - does this help you?
I try to buy stocking fillers in the sales and have a 'present drawer' with other sales gifts so that if we or the DC are given a gift we weren't expecting then we have spares without having to panic buy a more expensive gift

Do you set budgets for gifts, food, drink etc - if so, why? If not, why not? Has this changed since the recession started?
Yes, definitely. We didn't so much before the recession, but that was also pre DC, so we didn't have as many people to buy for. Food and drink I plan out meticulously, but DH has an irritating habit of inviting people last minute, so it doesn't always work out quite as planned

Do you shop online or do you prefer to buy gifts in person? Do you feel safe shopping online?
I buy a lot from eBay, which I find very safe. It also means I can check prices to get the cheapest, without having to run from store to store. In the run up to Christmas I try to have a clearout and sell a load of stuff on eBay, and then use any money made for presents. In the past I have managed to buy all stocking fillers and presents for family without dipping into our monthly budget. I also try not to go mad on sticking fillers, DC are young so stick to 10 gifts per stocking, some of which will be thingsd they need, craft things I would have bought anyway. I always make playdough for the stocking too. And buy good condition second hand stuff, as DC are still too young to care either way

What money saving tips can you pass on to others at this festive time - for example - do you make your own gifts? Do you buy fewer gifts?
DS1 and I make salt dough Christmas decorations which are given to family and friends, and always seem to be well received. My DPs, PILs and DSis get calendars from Photobox, which can usually be bought on a good offer, I try to wait for their sales where you can buy credits and use them later. DH and I generally don't do gifts for each other at the moment, but if we have a bit of spare cash we would buy something for the house.

How much will you and your family spend on Christmas this year? Have you been saving for Christmas or buying things over the last few months or year?
Will probably spend aroun £100 on the DC (between them), and about £150 on family and friends. We are not hosting Christms this year, so our food budget will probably only be £50-100 over what we would normally spend.

I try not to go too mad with presents, as I think it's the atmosphere of Christmas that is more important than material items. Having said that, I have tiny DC, will probably be scraping together for an iPad (or hoverboard?) by the time they are teenagers grin

elizaco Wed 24-Oct-12 14:34:05

I try to start saving in October - so 3 months of saving, then some on a credit card that I pay off straight away, so spread the cost over 4 months.

TerrorNotSoFrightened Wed 24-Oct-12 14:41:50

I put away £20 each month towards Christmas.

I buy two presents each month from January - October. (I have 20 people to give gifts to. Spend around £10 on each)

I buy cards, wrapping etc in the January sales.

I save tesco points and just have the one voucher payout in November, I usually take advantage of the double points promotion.

I pay a small amount each month to our local butcher, this gets me a ham, large turkey crown, lots of pigs in blankets and a massive steak pie.

From around July I add two items to our weekly shop which get put away for Christmas, things like spices, biscuits for cheese, bottles of appetiser.

Tamoo Wed 24-Oct-12 15:17:12

I simply can't afford to buy for (adult) extended family and it's been that way for a couple of years now. I'm pretty sure they understand and can deal with that! For kids of family, I keep a look out for toy sales eg 3 for 2 offers at Argos, Sainsbury's etc or good reductions when I'm out and about.

I would be organised enough to start shopping earlier in the year but buying for children means you have to wait and make sure of what they're interested in as trends change so much.

DS knows he won't get as much spent on him at Christmas as he does for birthday because Christmas is for everyone and is an expensive time of year. He gets a stocking, one decent present (usually something electronic), and a few books. He gets sent items from family and I think this is plenty, in fact despite our straits I still worry about spoiling him.

I start shopping September/October depending on what he's into. I generally know by this time what he will like and try to get some bargains on Amazon before the prices freeze at higher levels.

I'm really lucky in that I don't have to cater for lots of people at Christmas so that is one expense down. In the past food has cost almost as much as gifts. Nor do I have to travel to visit family or post items abroad.

For the last two years DS has made Christmas presents for people inc. decorations and fudge in nice jars. They seem to go down well, are more personal and fit our budget.

StaceeJaxx Wed 24-Oct-12 15:19:47

In the past I've been able to just cut back a bit in the months leading up to Christmas and this enabled me to buy most of the presents. This year though DH has been made redundant and we can't even afford to pay the bills let alone start thinking about Christmas presents. I think the kids are probably only going to be getting presents from nanny and grandad this year. sad

LineRunner Wed 24-Oct-12 15:42:29

I am selling some things on ebaY to defray the cost of Christmas.

Talking of allaying worries, I could do without the worry that Experian holds a file on me that I have never seen that may or may not be accurate and that may or not affect my future life or those of my DCs who share my address.

OrangeKat Wed 24-Oct-12 16:17:15

I start my shopping in August, and keep a list of who/what/etc.
I have almost finished the gift shopping, just have to buy dh a kindle and then I'm done!
THat will leave the next two months to slowly acquire all the extra food/wine/stuff that Christmas tends to involve, and I shouldn't get any big bills- the idea is that it all gets absorbed easily.
I do set a rough budget for each person, and I NEVER pay full rice for anything! If I didn't start so early that would be difficult, but 4 months savvy internet shopping/t k maxx makes it easy.
I also save my fuel payments from work and get September-November to arrive in my December pay packet which gives us a little extra fun fund.

Anchorwoman Wed 24-Oct-12 16:27:41

I'm selling some of the DC's old stuff to fund presents this year and have been collecting small gifts as I see them. Ds has got some nice little stocking filler toys from charity shops and Dd has a push along car with sound and lights from a charity shop. We will eat nice food but presents will be economy style this year. I make things some years if I feel inspired and have time. I hate the big expense of Christmas, would rather spend time with family and friends than spend money on pointless tat.

CheeryCherry Wed 24-Oct-12 16:30:36

We have never formally budgeted for Christmas but will be doing so this year. We will need to be stricter with spending. I have made a few presents already, and have planned what to do for family&friends but not got the DCs sorted. I buy food and gifts in Oct/Nov when the good offers are on, and always have emergency selection boxes/tins of biscuits in store for forgotten or unexpected guests! In the past we have spent freely, but we're in so much debt now that we can't do it. I bet we spend around £350 on presents usually, nd as we always host Christmas eve/Day/Boxing Day for 8-12 people here, we spend probably the same in food/drink just for those few days! Bonkers but we do love it. Just hoping for a lottery win this year...but it would help if I played it!

MegBusset Wed 24-Oct-12 16:40:29

I have a vague budget of £100 per DC (inc stocking) and for DH. Only buy for close family members, about £25 per adult.

I started shopping in August blush as I had some Tesco vouchers that were about to expire, and doubled them up in the Clubcard Exchange that was on at the time. I have also used some money saved up in my PayPal account from selling on eBay. The Christmas bargain threads on here have been great for ideas smile

I shop mostly online through trusted retailers and have never had any problems. I loathe going to the shops in December although I do like the John Lewis Xmas department!

Piffpaffpoff Wed 24-Oct-12 16:45:50

I mostly buy online now and started buying in September to spread to cost over three or four months. I use quidco and always check for discount codes. I look for deals and/or sales and club together with family members on 3for2 or Bogof deals. We have also set a cost limit for presents for nieces and nephews.

I don't have a budget as such for food and drnk but I shop at Aldi mainly and try to get my turkey in Nov when Tesco has an offer on.

We'll probably spend about £7-800.

WhatWouldGrandmaDo Wed 24-Oct-12 17:04:44

They'd like to know what plans you have to get finances in order - or is it something you manage well, try to avoid thinking about or leave 'til the new year to sort?

I put aside money each month towards birthday / Christmas gifts

Do you wait for sales or discounts when buying gifts - does this help you?

Yes - almost only ever buy stuff that's discounted, on 3 for 2 etc. I start early (September - any earlier is too much for me!). Also use Tesco vouchers etc and save these towards Christmas

Do you set budgets for gifts, food, drink etc - if so, why? If not, why not? Has this changed since the recession started?

Yes absolutely! It's mainly gifts as we tend to have Christmas dinner with my parents so don't really need extra food.

Do you shop online or do you prefer to buy gifts in person? Do you feel safe shopping online?

Bit of both - wherever I can get a good deal. As I'm a SAHM I am usually around to get deliveries so happy to shop with online retailers if they're cheaper for certain types of gifts. I tend to stick to big names or online versions of high street stores (where it's easier to find things)

What money saving tips can you pass on to others at this festive time - for example - do you make your own gifts? Do you buy fewer gifts?

Look out for vouchers / voucher codes online is an obvious one. Don't buy for every adult in the family, I just get for the children for more extended family. Don't go overboard as it just ends up overwhelming for smaller children IME.

How much will you and your family spend on Christmas this year? Have you been saving for Christmas or buying things over the last few months or year?

The budget is £400 for gifts - that's about £50 each for me / DH / DC and then £100 for each of our families. But I supplement it with vouchers.

3bunnies Wed 24-Oct-12 17:35:52

I don't have a specific budget, but a kind of maximum value I'm prepared to spend. I have bought quite a lot of presents already, which will be great as long as I stop spending soon! We are having to be a bit more careful this year, but is still coming from generic money pot.

I use a mixture of online and shops, but usually check prices online first.

We do make some (e.g. For teachers, godparents etc) but it doesn't necessarily work out cheaper, by the time I have got all the craft stuff, does show a bit more thought though hopefully.

Not too sure where we are having Christmas this year so don't know whether we need food, but will probably spend about 400 on presents, but other than the 3 dc's birthday it is the only time of the year we give presents to most people.

mrsbunnyw Wed 24-Oct-12 17:36:49

We buy as much as possible online. We both work and have infant school aged children, so finding the time to trawl around the busy shops, or to make our own gifts, is tricky, and I think you get a wider choice online. We tend to stick to retailers we trust, and have to shop in advance to allow time for delivery.

The amount we spend depends on whether we're cooking or being cooked for; I tend to go a bit overboard on food I think, but then sometimes my parents contribute after the event. We're much stricter with the cost of presents but as DH has a very large family that all buys for everyone, we have to be. We probably buy around 30 presents; mostly for around £10 each but our own children or each other would be more; maybe £40-£50 each. Plus stockings for the children which are probably £15-20 each.

I try to buy things as the year goes around, so that we spread the cost, and also re-gift children's toys or other things where we can, but we still do the bulk of it in November/ early December. Fortunately DH gets his bonus in the Autumn!

blooblies Wed 24-Oct-12 17:41:26

All our birthdays and Christmas come at once so budgeting for Christmas is essential. We set aside an amount each month to at least cover Christmas and have a rough maximum budget per person which we aim for. Of course, sale deals give us flexibility in this. We try to use 3 for 2's and free postage, sales, etc. I'd love to be organised and do this through the year but I find it hard to get into the frame of mind until late October. We use online shopping where possible as we hate the parking, crowds and time required for shopping in town. Even the postage costs are worth paying compared with parking charges and impulse buys if in town. I'll be trying to buy second hand where possible this year from local sales because of an extra dc and maternity leave. I'd also like to make gifts but am lacking in inspiration and time this year.

ZombTEE Wed 24-Oct-12 17:42:37

We have a set limit and I buy bits and bobs as I see them starting in about October. For example, HMV had a 2 DVDs for £15 sale recently so I bought 2, one for now and one for my son's Christmas present.

I also started buying wine about now and squirreling it away as I'd hate to not have enough of that! grin

I've also started my menu plan as we just found out that inlaws will be here from Eve to Boxing Day so I will start buying staples for that now so we aren't hit with a larger grocery bill in December.

I think that's all I do...

BettyandDon Wed 24-Oct-12 17:45:58

They'd like to know what plans you have to get finances in order - or is it something you manage well, try to avoid thinking about or leave 'til the new year to sort?

Well for me - 2 elements of christmas - gifts and food. For gifts, I spend @£150 on DD, £20 each on my family and £30 on DH. I paid for this by signing up for some market research and i also luckily got money back from the tax man.

For food, we have £300 per month on food anyway. we have started to buy little things for Christmas already that will keep, so we dont notice the cost at once. We will try to stay within this limit in Dec for the big shop.

Do you wait for sales or discounts when buying gifts - does this help you?

I wont buy anything in the shops until I have checked I have the best price which normally means checking online. Nearly all of DD gifts were from Amazon or on sales / bought with a discount code online.

Do you set budgets for gifts, food, drink etc - if so, why? If not, why not? Has this changed since the recession started?
Yes, as above. Well before I was a SAHM I spent a fortune as I earned a fortune. Once I bought a flatmate a candle on impulse (needed a gift) and it cost me £50!!! Clearly nuts, no way I would do this now.

Do you shop online or do you prefer to buy gifts in person? Do you feel safe shopping online?

I'm happy to buy online as you get the best price, but I would prefer to just buy in the shops as teh items are best seen in the flesh. I'm heavily pregnant now though so high street is a bit out of bounds. I also would not be able to shop with my DD so I'm not sure where she would disappear to to allow me to shop!

What money saving tips can you pass on to others at this festive time - for example - do you make your own gifts? Do you buy fewer gifts?

I will be supplementing my £20 budget for GPS with some homemade fudge and perhaps some toddler art!

How much will you and your family spend on Christmas this year? Have you been saving for Christmas or buying things over the last few months or year?

I think it will end up costing about £500. If I had to pay for that out of normal monthly budget it would be hard, but I have made sure that I have extra inccome this year to cover it.

Mrscoghoul Wed 24-Oct-12 17:50:18

They'd like to know what plans you have to get finances in order - or is it something you manage well, try to avoid thinking about or leave 'til the new year to sort?
This year I have some savings set aside for Christmas, in past years (pre-DC) we would have just paid for Christmas using disposable monthly income and not saved in December the way we would have the rest of the year.

Do you wait for sales or discounts when buying gifts - does this help you?
Don't wait for them, but I do keep gifts in mind when I browse sales.

Do you set budgets for gifts, food, drink etc - if so, why? If not, why not? Has this changed since the recession started?
We budget for gifts roughly, but not strictly, mainly to keep costs in check. As for food, we save up nectar points over the year, and what ever we have at December is the Christmas food and drink budget.

Do you shop online or do you prefer to buy gifts in person? Do you feel safe shopping online?
A bit of both, I like the conveninece and money saving aspects of shopping online (which by the way I feel completely safe doing), but I do love a bit of high street shopping at Christmas, especially late night shopping in the dark!

*What money saving tips can you pass on to others at this festive time - for example - do you make your own gifts? Do you buy fewer gifts?
How much will you and your family spend on Christmas this year? Have you been saving for Christmas or buying things over the last few months or year?*
I think one big money saving tip is that for your own children (especially when they're young), 2nd hand gifts are absolutely fine. My DS is getting an immaculate wooden train set from a car boot that cost me £2!! As he's only going to be 9 mo, that's his only gift! Also, stocking fillers can be useful things you'd buy for your children anyway such as socks, file paper, bubble bath, pants etc.

I have made chutney's etc. in the past, but they often add up to the same or more as just buying from a shop. This year we'll probably spend around £200 on Christmas.

Tigerbomb Wed 24-Oct-12 18:00:32

They'd like to know what plans you have to get finances in order - or is it something you manage well, try to avoid thinking about or leave 'til the new year to sort?
All bills are budgeted through the year. We also budget for a small amount of savings for any unexpected bills, car etc.

Do you wait for sales or discounts when buying gifts - does this help you?
It’s a bit of both. If I see something during the year that is on offer I will buy it. Other wise I shop around looking for discount codes online etc.

Do you set budgets for gifts, food, drink etc - if so, why? If not, why not? Has this changed since the recession started?
A rough budget is set for each person and for food. It is definitely smaller since the recession started and I tend to buy for less people.

Do you shop online or do you prefer to buy gifts in person? Do you feel safe shopping online?
A bit of both. I only use websites that I trust when I buy on line

What money saving tips can you pass on to others at this festive time - for example - do you make your own gifts? Do you buy fewer gifts?
The only thing I do religiously is buy saving stamps for Morrisons through the year. I now have two full cards (£200) and am on a third. You get £3 free with each full card. I don’t buy stocking fillers anymore, just buy one main present.

How much will you and your family spend on Christmas this year? Have you been saving for Christmas or buying things over the last few months or year?
We will spend approx £400 on presents and food. I already have the money saved for food and have bought a few gifts throughout the year. .

hackneyzoo Wed 24-Oct-12 18:11:29

Is it something you manage well, try to avoid thinking about or leave 'til the new year to sort?

I try to plant what gifts I am going to buy my 3DC. I have a very tight budget, so each kid gets around £50 spent on them. I sell lots of things (old toys/ clothesetc) on ebay from about August onwards and put aside the paypal balance for gifts.

Do you wait for sales or discounts when buying gifts - does this help you?

Sometimes. I often buy second hand, or pick bits up in charity shops.

Do you set budgets for gifts, food, drink etc - if so, why? If not, why not? Has this changed since the recession started?

Yes I do, otherwise there is no way we could afford it. TBH I don't go overboard at xmas and just view Xmas dinner as a big roast! I tend to save up Nectar points and vouchers to spend on Christmas food shopping. I provide the food on the agreement that other attending family members will provide a generous supply of wine!

Do you shop online or do you prefer to buy gifts in person? Do you feel safe shopping online?

I shop on line mostly. I work longishhours and have 3dc, so don't really get any time to go shopping. Plus the thought of shops at xmas time fills me with horror!

What money saving tips can you pass on to others at this festive time - for example - do you make your own gifts? Do you buy fewer gifts?

I buy gifts for children and close family only.
I often make gifts for adults (infused olive oil, nice biscuits etc)
DP and I don't get each other gifts
Stick to a budget

How much will you and your family spend on Christmas this year?
Probably about £200 in total for food and presents.
Maybe another £140 on petrol and travel costs as my family are at the other end of the country

Have you been saving for Christmas or buying things over the last few months or year?

Yes, I've been selling stuff on ebay and saving the profits.

jen127 Wed 24-Oct-12 18:21:50

They'd like to know what plans you have to get finances in order - or is it something you manage well, try to avoid thinking about or leave 'til the new year to sort?

I start shopping in September with the plan to get finished by the end of November at the latest- spreading the cost over several months. I also buy cards wrapping paer etc in January sales.
Do you wait for sales or discounts when buying gifts - does this help you?
Always - why would you pay full price for presenst for others which are not sometimes appreciated!
Do you set budgets for gifts, food, drink etc - if so, why? If not, why not?
No defined budget as such or that DH has to know about

Has this changed since the recession started?
I scour the internat for discount codes and vouchers.
Do you shop online or do you prefer to buy gifts in person? Do you feel safe shopping online?
70% online - 100% safe

What money saving tips can you pass on to others at this festive time - for example - do you make your own gifts? Do you buy fewer gifts?
buy in the sales , buy toys in September /October as this is when the sales are. I don't make my own gifts - that would be a disaster
How much will you and your family spend on Christmas this year? Have you been saving for Christmas or buying things over the last few months or year?
We don't have a defined budget but approx 1200 pounds total between DS/SD/DH and myself.

MaureenMLove Wed 24-Oct-12 18:36:16

Do you wait for sales or discounts when buying gifts - does this help you?* yes, I usually manage to choose gifts that fall into the 3 for 2 bargins or bogof*
Do you set budgets for gifts, food, drink etc - if so, why? If not, why not? Has this changed since the recession started? My budget is my desposible income. When it's gone, it's gone, but I spend £20 per parent and £15-£20 per child. DH and I don't buy for each other and DD gets whatever we can afford
Do you shop online or do you prefer to buy gifts in person? Do you feel safe shopping online?*I can usually buy a fair amount online and helps me to budget better.*
What money saving tips can you pass on to others at this festive time - for example - do you make your own gifts? Do you buy fewer gifts?*I make jam and chutney through the year for gifts and make shortbread and sweets at the last minute.*
How much will you and your family spend on Christmas this year? Have you been saving for Christmas or buying things over the last few months or year?*Less than in past years, but only because I have less to buy for.*

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