Thursday, 10 September 2015

How I manage Christmas financially


As you can imagine with 4 children Christmas is an expensive time for me, add to it that 3 of my children have birthdays in December and January. Super bad planning on my part!

I know Christmas isn't all about materialistic presents but about spending time with loved ones making memories to cherish and celebrating the real meaning of Christmas which is why I always set myself a budget of £100 per child and try my very hardest not to exceed this!

My children get a stocking from Father Christmas but the rest is from us, there is no way the big fella is taking all the credit!

I would not be able to pay all the money out at once so I save a bit each month with Park Savings. The last couple of years I have opted for the Love2shop vouchers but found myself quite restricted as to where to spend them even with the huge list of retailers that accept them and also not being able to shop online so this year I chose to go for the Love2shop Anywhere card which is basically a pre paid  card even with the £10 per £100 fee I feel it works well for me. There is no fee added for the vouchers though, you get vouchers to the value of what you pay in.

The card is accepted anywhere that displays the Mastercard sign which is fantastic as I can now avoid the chaos that Christmas brings in the shops and shop online. No more long queues and pushing and shoving!!

I pay a little each month and make my last payment in October so by mid October I have the card and can begin my Christmas shopping without leaving everything to the last minute!

Park also sell other products and hampers and give you the option to pay in weekly instalments to spread the cost but without paying extra on top.

If you do look into a Christmas Savings club please do have a read of the advice available from the Money Advice Service and make sure the club is covered by the Christmas Prepayment Association (CPA) so that you will have some protection if things go wrong.

Bring on the start of my shopping next month!! It's sounds scary to say that Christmas Eve is 15 weeks today!!

How do you manage Christmas financially?

15 comments:

  1. I think you're wise just doing the stocking from Santa. Believe me getting a bigger present leads to all sorts of difficult questions as they get older.

    ReplyDelete
  2. 15 weeks?! Aaagh! I don't feel even ready to think about Christmas but I can see it makes much more sense to plan ahead....I need to get much better at this!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've already started to pick up little bits and pieces for the stockings. I buy throughout the year basicaly to keep it affordable. MIch x

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's a good way to budget for Christmas and I used to use Park all the time. I might start it again for next year.

    ReplyDelete
  5. It makes sense to consider all this now - while there is still time to save!

    ReplyDelete
  6. We save a little each moth throughout the year just like you, but I save it in to a savings account.

    ReplyDelete
  7. eek whenever I hear how close it is to xmas I get even more excited as I'm due a couple of weeks before. Actually we really need to start buying presents now-ish! x

    ReplyDelete
  8. I used to do Park each year and save for Love2Shop I really need to get back into that as it made such a difference. x

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm trying to avoid the thought of Christmas until much nearer the time. I find it all very stressful! Saving in advance is definitely the way to go!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I used to do the Park vouchers and always loved it when my vouchers arrived and I could go on a bit shopping trip, was such fun :) Very handy if money is tight x

    ReplyDelete
  11. Now I thought my planning was bad with 4 children with birthdays in June, but at least it is not by Xmas!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I start Christmas shopping on Boxing Day. I then only ever spend what we have but as I have spread it over the whole year it is quite a bit. And I thought having 1 of my 4 kids having a Christmas birthday was bad enough.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I hadn't heard of the love to shop card before which sounds like a great way to save up for christmas and fab that you are not restricted to where you spend it! I have to say I always plan on getting organised and then always end up forgetting LOADS and having a mad dash christmas eve lol! x

    ReplyDelete
  14. great tips here I usually buy toys in the toy sales throughout the year. Im never organised to start on boxing day or anything.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I do it a bit at a time to spread the cost - savings clubs can be great for budgeting!

    ReplyDelete