How do people afford Christmas?

(656 Posts)
Poppets14 Wed 17-Nov-21 14:40:58

Just been out Christmas shopping and have had to use my credit card and store cards.

We are remortgaging the house in February and paying off our debts so we are back at square 1.
We are in about 4K worth of debt so not a massive amount.

My question is how do people afford Christmas? Everything is just so expensive.

Do you save all year?
Buy throughout the year?

We are getting are finances in order next year and I do not want to fall into the debt hole again!

OP’s posts: |
FilledSoda Wed 17-Nov-21 14:45:18

It's always a good idea to put what you afford away in savings each month , then you have a bit of a cushion.
Our Christmas isn't expensive , no kids no parents and we don't entertain.
Do you have a lot of people to buy for ?

TheChild Wed 17-Nov-21 14:45:19

This is the first year we have saved every month for Christmas and we saved what I thought was a good amount. Made the mistake of discussing Christmas shopping with some of the school mums and realised it is NOT enough, one mum was spending £400 on 2 tracksuits for her DD 😳
I have a feeling most people put it on credit cards, because I can't understand how people can otherwise afford all the stuff they are buying otherwise.

wendz86 Wed 17-Nov-21 14:45:26

I do surveys and things and save any money I make throughout the year . I also save any points at sainsburys / boots etc to use towards presents .

Millie50 Wed 17-Nov-21 14:47:00

Just don't spend much tbh. Gifts only for immediate family. Often make part of the gifts, like truffles or marmalade or something.
Christmas food is all made from scratch so is only a little more expensive than food bill normally is.
We do drink more alcohol but that's our choice - if we couldn't afford it we wouldn't.
Socialising is mostly in people's houses so very cheap.
Entertainment... walks and board games!

invisiblezara Wed 17-Nov-21 14:47:40

We put away a bit each month into our Christmas saving account by standing order. Makes things much less stressful.

Athinginitself Wed 17-Nov-21 14:49:02

Save a bit all year, usually overspend slightly, buy for quite a few people but don't have kids which makes it a lot cheaper.


CopperLily Wed 17-Nov-21 14:49:28

I used to save every year with Park so I'd get vouchers/prepaid credit card each year to pay for everything until I realised I'd be better off with a savings account. I now have a Post Office account that a set amount goes into each month from the current account via standing order. It really takes the worry out of paying for gifts etc.

QforCucumber Wed 17-Nov-21 14:50:15

Christmas costs us a total of around £500/600, we save towards this throughout the year,

That's for each other, 2 kids, family presents and all the food (we host xmas day)

Poppets14 Wed 17-Nov-21 14:50:22

I spend probably about £300 on my dd
£50 on my mum
£25 for each niece
£15 on my friend

and then my husband will spend
£50 on his dad and stepmum
£15 nephew
£15 niece

This is us being as cheap as possible

Me and my husband don’t buy for each other

OP’s posts: |
mrsbitaly Wed 17-Nov-21 14:50:31

I rarely buy brand new always check on marketplace ebay vinted ect at a fraction of the cost

Poppets14 Wed 17-Nov-21 14:51:02

Me and my husband both buy for daughter - we will split the cost

OP’s posts: |
Millie50 Wed 17-Nov-21 14:51:03

Appreciate that if you are on benefits/min wage etc, then even 'a bit more expensive' is a problem. I didn't mean to sound insensitive, and am aware that although we're not well off we are able to afford a few extra bits at Christmas.
But basically just spend what you can afford. If that's a fiver on something nice from a charity shop, then that's a great present and you should give it with pride. Don't feel the pressure to spend £100 on every child just because other people do.

psuedocream3 Wed 17-Nov-21 14:51:57

I'm planning on playing the Squid Game wink

I do surveys which has mostly covered the cost, my husband hasn't contributed a single penny which would have been a huge help. Problem is if it was left to him, there would probably be no Christmas presents as he isn't very fussed about celebrating anything, so there isn't much choice if I don't want the kids disappointed.

Previous years I have had to put it on the credit card and just try my hardest to pay it off as quickly as aI can, which isn't the preferred option. I had considered a 0% interest free credit card but my application seems to be lost in limbo somewhere confused

FriedasCarLoad Wed 17-Nov-21 14:52:00

The best way is to spend less. Smaller presents for fewer people.

The next best way to save a bit extra all year round.

Of course neither of these is necessary if wealthy, and neither is easy if poor.

Frederica852 Wed 17-Nov-21 14:52:06

You spend £300 on your DD?! 😲 I spend less than £50

Keepitrealnomists Wed 17-Nov-21 14:52:25

We have a Christmas acc we save into every month, we've saved £1500 for this year to cover all presents and food. We host and have 1 DC 😬

cloverleafy Wed 17-Nov-21 14:52:25

Save by standing order into a separate account all year round. We probably don't save utterly enough to cover the total cost, but it is enough of a buffer for us.

foxgoosefinch Wed 17-Nov-21 14:52:43

I buy throughout the year and in sales - but also try and flog a few things before Christmas. I normally do end up in my overdraft a bit in Jan/Feb though, when I do a round of frantic shuffling with energy tariffs and moving things between savings accounts and so on!

That reminds me, I need to deal with my energy tariff and mortgage rate ASAP!

Millie50 Wed 17-Nov-21 14:52:59

Cross post OP!
Your problem sounds like you are spending way too much on gifts. If you actually need to scrimp and save throughout the year you need to cut down hugely. Your family will understand if they're decent, and it's a good life lesson for your dd.

LolaSmiles Wed 17-Nov-21 14:53:59

We limit what we buy in the first place and don't get into keeping up with the Joneses.

tabletennistop Wed 17-Nov-21 14:55:06

I save throughout the year.

In between Christmas and New Year I sit down and look at incomings (salary), all outgoings (bills, food, hols, money for clothes, money for leisure, money for hols, money for savings, money for optician/ dentist - Everything) then I annualise most costs. So I plan what we need to spend on Xmas/ Birthdays/ hols, then save each month to this.
So I have a monthly budget for each area of spend, and I monitor spend/ save against this each month. .

I recommend something like this to avoid debt.

OneRingToRuleThemAll Wed 17-Nov-21 14:55:27

Watch the competitive under spenders all come out. I save all year and spend £250 each on a pre teen and a teen. It's easier to find £50 a month than a lump sum of £500

ShowOfHands Wed 17-Nov-21 14:55:58

We do Secret Santa across the wider family so you only buy for one person. Food we pay into a club for at the butcher's, a couple of pounds a week over the year. Children's presents and any trips out are saved for each month from January onwards. No debt incurred.

headinthecloudsnow Wed 17-Nov-21 14:56:02

We save throughout the year. We save around £450 which is enough for us.

£100 on 2 DDs
£100 between nieces and nephews
£150 for food/drink budget

DH and I buy for eachother separately out of this budget.

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