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What % to put aside/How early to buy?

(13 Posts)
Methenyouplus4 Sat 19-Jan-19 20:52:20

We have one older child (14) and of the £ we spend on him for Christmas, I would say we spend about 30% before Christmas but wait for specific requests from around mid-November.

With our 3 younger ones (all under 6), I would say it is more 80% before August. This is because many purchases are charity shop/hand me downs from friends/eBay etc.

Last Christmas, our youngest two requested gifts (when seeing Santa) that were vague and easy/cheap to buy (e.g
a book about animals). BUT our middle son asked (and was desperate for) something that was £80- we spend about £70-£100 on little ones). Luckily (and thanks to bargain thread on here), we spotted the thing he asked for months before and bought for a steal at £30.

But... it did make me a bit dubious about spending such a high % of budget in advance in future. That said, buying in advance allows us to get bargains and spread the cost.

So, how far in advance do you buy most of your purchases and do you leave a certain amount on 'stand-by' in case of specific requests?

Deminism Sun 20-Jan-19 19:07:39

I buy all the stocking gifts in advance and not the Santa gifts which in our family is about 2-3 gifts each which in total per person is anything between £50-£100

EmpressJewel Sun 20-Jan-19 23:29:33

I buy stocking fillers throughout the year, which is a mixture of practical, craft, toys etc . I spend about £30 on the stockings, but get lots of bargains, so it's a good haul.

Main gifts are left until much nearer the time. I think you can get bargains nearer to Xmas for example Black Frida, so thee are still bargains to be had nearer to Christmas.

Vicious2018 Mon 21-Jan-19 08:07:49

I got several Lego sets from January sales. I will split them between Xmas and birthdays. I think the this years sets what kids want I hope I get from Black Friday sale.

Lifeofsmiley Fri 01-Feb-19 19:22:07

I tend to do most of my shopping later in the year. I don’t have a lot to buy for but I have a budget for each person and total it up , usually about 400 , and put away £40 per month starting in January.
I’ve also saw people suggest putting money per month on a supermarket card .

HairyToity Sun 03-Feb-19 15:43:00

I start buying from September onwards. Occasionally I see a half price toy I know they will love and buy in advance.

livingthegoodlife Sun 03-Feb-19 17:27:33

I only buy generic gifts for nieces and nephews (and party gifts for school friends) throughout the year. I wait until about November to buy my Children's main gifts. I need to make sure they are certain!

blacksmiths09 Mon 04-Feb-19 06:34:59

I put away £67.50 each month from January. I worked out what we spend then divided the figure by 12.

The main problem we found over the years (regarding expense) was that we struggled to pay for gifts that we were buying to help others. What I mean is that my mum would ask us to get whatever the kids want - then give us the money retrospectively. The problem compounds when everyone starts doing this and we found ourselves skint because we often weren’t getting the money back until either Christmas or just before! So this year we insisted that if people wanted us to help they gave us the money first!

Lifeofsmiley Mon 04-Feb-19 07:20:23

Definitely cash upfront blacksmith, that’s my motto.

Adeste Fri 22-Feb-19 08:30:00

With my own dc, I take photos and screenshots of anything they ask for throughout the year so I’m never stuck for ideas for them, and if I spot something at a bargain price earlier in the year I put it away.

Up to about 8, I bought their main gift in September to take advantage of the sales and then carefully cultivated their desire for it until Christmas. It helped that they didn’t watch ads for toys.

I’ve always kept back a portion of their budget to buy something in December but most of the buying is done by late October.

But now that they’re a little bit older I think I might hold off until later. All the Christmas stock comes out after the September sales and it’s not as easy to keep them focused on what I want them to want anymore!

I find it easier to save by spreading the spending over a longer period than to save up cash so this year will definitely be a challenge.

JurassicGirl Fri 22-Feb-19 08:42:38

I don't have a particular budget for my 3 dc (age 6-10) but throughout the year I pick up things that I want to buy them such as a new dressing gown, pyjamas, slippers, fun bubble bath, books etc

I also keep an eye out for stocking filler stuff like lego/playmobil blind bags, lol dolls, treasure x etc when they're reduced or part of a good deal like 3 for 2.

I don't buy the main toys until around November or December.

BiddyPop Tue 26-Feb-19 11:34:50

I have always put away any interesting stocking filler type things as I see them during the year.

Some years, I have seen things like clothes I know would go down well, or quirky things that DD would like, and I buy those as I see them.

We often manage to have a discussion about things in general while we are away on holidays - so have identified a main big thing that DH then goes off and sources (although one year it was a cool skateboard - but all the girls were on roller blades that autumn so the ones who didn't have them were getting them for Christmas, so DD was made for those rather than the skateboard, luckily DH had got a bargain on the board and found a bargain on blades, so she got both).

I always have to wait until November to get the Lush bath bombs - as I get a festive one. But things like PJs may be bought earlier (if I see ones she'd love - some years they are festive patterned, others they are character or plain but nice ones rather than "Christmassy").

I have tried to do a night going to Smyths in November for all the DNieces, DNephews and DD - and seeing nothing at all I fancied for them (this year, I brought a trolley with me, and walked out with nothing at all!). So instead I prefer to go to smaller toy shops earlier in the autumn and get a few at a time. Or make time for sewing things myself.

ChristmasInJuly Mon 03-Jun-19 11:52:32

I’m trialing a slightly different way this year, where I’m getting one or two bits with the weekly shop each time. Eg I got 2 Julia Donaldson books for £7 in Asda last week, which I’ll put away for DD. Will do the same if I spot other deals on toys or alcohol. The plan is that we’ll only have to pay for the Christmas food shop in December. DS is 3 and DD is 18 months so it’s still relatively easy to know what they’d like - I imagine if they were older it would be tricky and I wouldn’t buy anything for them this early, anticipating that they’d change their minds 369842 times in 6 months! But I’m keeping a list of what I’ve bought and hoping this will be a painless way to spread the cost.

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