/ Money, Parenting

How much do you spend on Christmas presents?

Gift card in hands

We all know that Christmas is a time for spreading joy, but it appears that a lot of Brits cause themselves financial pain while doing so. But why all the fuss – are we worried we’ll look like a penny-pincher?

A new survey published by Bespoke Offers suggests that nearly half of us will exceed our present-buying budgets by at least £70.

It also revealed we give more presents than we receive. Figures show we are likely to buy 18 gifts, while only getting nine back in return. This comes as no surprise when you’re buying for children, but when we’re spending £324 on these presents are we taking Christmas gifts too far?

Over-spending on presents

Then there’s the rest of the Christmas spending. Research by Money Advice Service has revealed that the average Brit will spend more than £530 on Christmas celebrations this year, and that millions will turn to payday loans in order to fund it.

I know we’re in the season of goodwill and generosity, but why are we getting ourselves into serious debt to fund it?

I think a lot of this is to avoid being seen as a Scrooge by friends and family. It’s always a bit awkward when a loved one gets you a gift that’s clearly pricier than the one you bought them.But come January, does it even matter?

How to grab a festive bargain

If you’re trying to spend a little less this Christmas, you could look at earning some cashback. Brushing up on your options is a good place start and can help you make the most of your Christmas shopping and Cyber Monday sales.

Making sure you spend wisely is just as important. Don’t fall into the trap of buying something only to realise that another model is just as good for half the price. Our Christmas Hub should help with this, as it suggests dozens of gifts that have survived our tests while also not breaking the bank.

How much money are you planning to spend this Christmas? Do you have any tips to ensure you won’t break your budget?

Do you set yourself a Christmas spending budget?

No - Christmas is for generosity (44%, 143 Votes)

Yes - but I always end up going over (31%, 101 Votes)

Yes - and I always stick to it (26%, 84 Votes)

Total Voters: 328

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Some years ago, a relative asked if we could stop exchanging presents as Christmas was getting too expensive for her.

We now have the same agreement with most of the people we used to exchange gifts with. So now no more headaches of what to get people and no more useless presents in return. It was surprising how many of them were very happy with the arrangement.

Very wise alfa. My side of the family are very good at this. My wife’s family ……… : (

I anticipate spending nothing on Christmas gifts other than buying something whacky or humorous to make people laugh. But then I would do that at any time of the year.

Restricting yourself solely to Christmas, and spending lots of money is downright stupid. Even if you have loads of money and the amount is insignificant to you it can be very embarrassing to recipients.

Our problem is that we have got everything we need and prefer to choose our own goods when necessary. However, we do allow our close family to gift us small luxury food items e.g. chutneys, pickles, etc as these don’t get wasted and can be used as required and they do not require joining long queues to return unsuitable items after Christmas.

From the garden of England says:
2 December 2014

We have a grown up family now with no children, so we have our Christmas meal, Christmas Eve as the French do, then go to midnight mass. It’s always good to remind ourselves the true meaning of Christmas rather than a “commerical binge” it has become. It’s always nice to return home after the mass to a beautifully decorated tree

Christmas day is a day to visit family and friends and to enjoy good company. We go to share the burden and all supply food and drink I e sausage rolls, drinks, mince pies etc. and have decided that Christmas presents to adults is something that’s really unnecessary as we don’t need an excuse of Christmas to buy gifts and everyone agreed several years ago to stop this. Do I miss the present giving you may ask, well no, in fact, we have more fun playing a silly game on Christmas day with our family and friends. In January we treat ourselves to a meal out and a theatre trip in London. Something to look forward to after the festivities are over.

Frankly, it’s the thoughtful present that is always welcomed. I learnt that lesson years ago when the youngster next door had everything (single child, well off family). We bougfht him a £2 torch with moving colour filters. Next door were really p*ssed off with us because that’s all he played with over christmas!

renniemac says:
3 December 2014

I enjoy buying for friends and family at Xmas, but I don’t set a budget for each, if I think they will like it, I buy it. I should set budget, but I don’t. plus I only spend what I have, I wouldn’t get into debt for it, but I do start shopping early, I also have the Tesco Xmas saver where you receive all of your loyalty point at Xmas, and you can top up throughout the year. for every £100. you top up you get an extra £6.00. I also have a loyalty system with my butcher, I have been saving my points up for Xmas food. this year it will pay for the Turkey which is quite expensive. although I say I don’t budget, but, in the long run I organise my year to make it less of an expense at Xmas.
my one bit of discomfort is all the adds on telly showing bountiful food displayed, I am uncomfortable because I know there are a lot of people out there who have to choose on a daily basis whether to eat or heat themselves. I think if you organise yourself early enough you can do it.

Jacky says:
17 December 2014

I enjoy finding bargains so I will start buying a few things for next Christmas and birthdays in the New Year Sales. Then I add to them throughout the year. Everything goes into the cupboard and then around November I fetch it all out and see what is there. All I do at Christmas is buy the wrapping paper and perhaps a last minute gift. I don’t really keep a tally of items so it is always a huge pleasure finding what I have bought, and there is never a huge amount of money going out at one time.
I can hear the groans, but it works for me.

We stopped buying presents for the adults in the family several years ago but still buy for the children and teenagers. The teenagers presents are either money or from their gift list. The average spend per person is £25. I don’t wish to turn into Scrooge so shall continue to buy presents for the young ones.