Christmas isn't worth getting into debt for

October 17

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Christmas isn’t worth getting into debt for

While the majority of us look forward to the festive season, Christmas can be a stressful time for others. The average person spends around half their December pay packet on Christmas and many of us end up borrowing to fund the cost of gifts and celebrations.

It’s important to remember that security is more important to your family than any Christmas present so you should always prioritise rent or essential bills over Christmas spending. If you’re expecting to struggle this year, read some of our tips below:

Make a List - It’s very easy to go overboard at Christmas without realising how much you’re spending. Set a budget, make a list and stick to it.

Think about the experience - Try to choose presents that mean you will have a great day together.  For example, playing outside on Christmas morning blowing bubbles is more fun and memorable for children than getting a plastic toy that needs lots of batteries and can’t be played with by everyone. Most children would be more excited to have their parents sit down and play one of their new games with them rather than simply getting piles and piles of presents.

Manage Expectations - Younger children have no expectation about how much you will spend on them and their enjoyment of their presents isn’t related to how much they cost. The more you can develop gratitude and a love of simple pleasures and fun with your children the less they will be obsessed about accumulating ‘expensive toys’ as they grow up. Try to instil this attitude early on.

When they are old enough you can help them to understand that the money you have is needed for lots of different things to look after the family: rent, food, heating etc. Christmas is a fun day, not a competition to spend the most; a loving parent has to think about what their children need every day of the year not just at Christmas.

Not everyone needs a gift - At Christmas, many of us feel obliged to give gifts to all our friends and family. The problem is that anybody you give a present to will feel obligated to give you one; regardless if they can afford it or not. Why not have a no gift pact with some friends and family and focus on giving presents to the children.  Alternatively set a limit on gifts or exchange homemade gifts instead.  Club together with family members to buy something special for a child.

Uttlesford Citizens Advice offers free, independent, confidential advice on debt, housing, benefits, relationships, employment and legal matters.  

Uttlesford Citizens Advice.  Barnards Yard, CB11 4EB

T: 01799 618840 



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