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getting into debt for Christmas

(19 Posts)
lucymootoo Thu 10-Dec-15 15:06:01

Unfortunately this month we don't seem to have much money spare. I had put some money aside but due to an issue with my car that's all gone.

We have an 18mo DD who will be getting a £20 gift. Aside from that it's just family.

There is 9 people in total to buy for.

I'm spending roughly £20-£30 per person but it will mean I have to use my credit card. I'm so careful with money normally and try to never use my credit card so I just feel like there's a massive weight on my mind. I know it's not a lot of money but in the past I've got myself into a lot of debt (around 4k) and I never want to slip back into that again.

I should be able to pay it back on payday of this month but I am throwing extra things into my basket and clicking my credit card in the payment options then closing the page. It's just so so easy to do sad

I don't really know why I'm posting just wanted to get it off my chest.

lilacclery Thu 10-Dec-15 16:17:44

Is there anything you can regift that you're not using or make a homemade gift instead?

Who do you have to buy for & who would wait until New Year eg dh?

If you're paying within the month it'll be interest free anyhow won't it?

Make a list, check if you've tesco clubcard points, boots points etc that you could use

annielostit Thu 10-Dec-15 17:03:36

Surely if you told your family - parents whoever that you couldn't do it this year they should understand?
If it goes on the card now you could be playing catch up for months.

specialsubject Thu 10-Dec-15 18:08:51

it is NEVER worth it. Tell the family this is a no-gift christmas as you don't have the cash, and are prioritising housing, food, warmth and so on.

buy nothing. Your kid doesn't know tat-mas from a week last Thursday so buy her nothing.

roof or sparkly tat? Food or sparkly tat? Isn't it obvious?

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SecretBondGirl Thu 10-Dec-15 19:23:10

Do your relatives really need or want the presents you are buying them? Think about this when you are cold and hungry in January. I think you should swallow your pride and tell them you can't afford presents this year

HermioneWeasley Thu 10-Dec-15 19:34:33

If you're close enough to someone to buy someone a £30 gift, you're close enough to tell them you can't afford it this year

specialsubject Thu 10-Dec-15 21:30:39


RJnomore1 Thu 10-Dec-15 21:35:01

Can you do them IOU certificates? Like, a night babysitting; a load of ironing done; a night at mines for a meal?

Loftsequin Thu 10-Dec-15 21:36:07

I sympathise and I think people forget how hard it can be to admit to having no money.

That said I would forgo the present for the baby.

80sMum Thu 10-Dec-15 21:36:47

OP, you know that you can't afford to splash out right now. Don't do this to yourself. Christmas presents are not compulsory! The whole Christmas presents malarkey is a marketing ploy to get the masses to spend money. Just let people know that finances are tight this year and you won't be giving presents.

iwantgin Thu 10-Dec-15 21:41:40

I agree with all the above posters.

Either do some home made gifts but inexpensive. Or IOU for your time /service.

Gifts are not essential. Food, and a roof over your head is.

smileymam Thu 10-Dec-15 22:24:44

The other people you buy for may be relieved themselves if you decide not to buy as they wont have to either. Christmas shouldn't be about putting yourselves under pressure like this. Alternatively if you really want to get something just get small token gifts you could even pick something up in a charity shop .

ClancyMoped Thu 10-Dec-15 22:47:07

I'd feel sick if someone bought me a present that they couldn't afford. Please, please phone everybody and say that you can't afford presents. Don't be embarrassed. You had saved some money but something went wrong with the car is a perfectly acceptable reason.

I wouldn't even spend £20 on your DD. She really won't care.

...and stop throwing things in your shopping basket. It's silly sad. Have you anything that you can return.

You can still have a wonderful happy Xmas with gift giving. Family time, crap TV, time off work... NO stress..

lucymootoo Fri 11-Dec-15 01:41:24

Thank you for all your messages. I really couldn't admit to anyone that we couldn't afford presents. £20 to them is only a token gift sadI know that these people have bought me nice things and I would hate to be empty handed on Christmas Day.

I do have some things I can return. I went a bit crazy at the weekend and ordered loads of things for myself. I tend to get like that, very impulsive. Then from the second I confirm payment I start worrying. Then it all gets returned.

DP and I aren't doing gifts for one another this year. The £20 for DD is for a gift I know she will love so I really want to get her it.

I suppose we can afford them as I could put on the credit card and pay back at the end of the month. It's just that feeling of undoing all my hard work paying it off and being able to stay debt free. We used to live with only 1p left of overdraft in the bank and I would hate to go back to those times. I know spending £200 on presents isn't going to do that but ... Oh I don't know I just hate the relationship I have with money.

ClancyMoped Fri 11-Dec-15 08:34:07

Does your partner know about you previously having problems with money? Could he help by giving you cash to spend?
How about giving your credit card to him to look after.?
Maybe try Homesense or TJMax for presents. Or can you regift?
It's a shame you can't let people know you are skint. I hope you dont feel you need to 'keep up with the Jones's' in other things.
I hope you can sort something out.

specialsubject Fri 11-Dec-15 10:16:09

for goodness sake, don't do it. £20 is NOT a token gift, especially not in your circumstances.

you need to get that buying-crap habit under control now. Your kid needs food, shelter, etc etc and your finances seem way too tight for money wasting. What happens if the car has more problems? The boiler goes? Or someone loses a job?

buy the gift for the kid when it is on sale, she doesn't know when christmas is. She does know if she is cold or hungry.

also get some advice on sensible spending habits. No-one is born knowing this but it sounds like you need to learn for your kid's sake.

allwornout0 Fri 11-Dec-15 14:41:44

I've told parents we are just doing token gifts (£5 bottle of wine) for them as money is tighter.
My parents said that's ok but were giving you a present anyway.
My MIL said well I haven't got you a present yet anyway so won't bother now.

My dh has now gone out and got something extra for all parents, not huge and expensive but nice and personal.
It will be interesting to see what reaction we get from MIL.

Madmog Mon 14-Dec-15 11:00:11

Lucy, I totally understand you want to buy for everyone you care about, I feel the same. However, I feel you really don't need to spend £20-30 on everyone. Yes, a few you are close to spend a bit more on, but others can be a lot less. We've spent £7 on one - bottle wine & bottle beer, £8 on one, candle, handcream & chocs, £4 on candle for one, toiletry set and chocs for another £6. Have bought most stuff when I've found it on offer and these are all items we know the recipients will like or use. My BIL and his wife struggle, still insist on buying and I still really like the £2/3 box of chocs or toiletry product they buy me - I love my BIL and his family and their time and company are more important.

If you're concerned you're not spending as much on them as they will on you, have a chat with them before Xmas - tell them you needed to cut back this year so haven't been able to spend so much to save any awkwardness over Xmas.

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