Spreading the Cost of Christmas

Most Brits love the festive season for all its warmth and twinkly wonder. Most don’t have to work, there’s lots of food and family and general merriment is all around. However, if you’re in debt, the Christmas period can be like a black cloud over your head. As December draws in, you may be panicking about how you’re going to pay for all your Christmas presents, decorations and food. If you’re in a situation where you’re not even sure if you can cover the cost of your rent and bills for the month, Christmas may not feel like the season of joy.

However, your financial concerns don’t have to be the nail in the coffin for your Christmas. With a proactive attitude and savvy spending, avoiding huge December debts is possible. For many, even the mention of Christmas before December is enough to make the blood boil. Nevertheless, everyone knows that the early bird catches the worm, and this is certainly true when it comes to grabbing the best Christmas deals and spreading the overall cost of the festive season.

For those who want to spend a controlled amount every month, October is a great time to start your Christmas spending. This is the ideal time to buy your festive items in bulk such as decorations, crackers, and food that can be easily frozen. Items get considerably marked up as early as November, so by getting ahead of the game you are sure to save yourself some cash. If you need one, this is also a fantastic time to purchase your artificial Christmas tree. Sellers usually offer large discounts in the months building up to December in order to get the holiday ball rolling. By late November to December you can rest assured that Christmas trees will have almost doubled in price.

A problem for many is not being sure what your loved ones want for Christmas yet. They may not have even decided themselves! Some hinting or outright asking might be necessary here in order to get your present shopping on the go. If that isn’t possible then making an educated guess may be for the best. Buying a few of the bigger presents in October or early November will not only spread out the cost but will also guarantee that the gifts you want are in stock. Getting your Christmas present shopping out of the way early will mean you are stocked up, wrapped up and ready for the big day by mid-November.

If you’ve bought your presents based on a guess and you later realise you made the wrong decision, in most cases you will be able to return or exchange. Although holiday shoppers need to be aware that some returns policies run out after a month. So if you’ve bought your presents in October and you need to return them in December, then you may be out of luck. Many retailers do add deadlines in order to catch you out but some will extend their returns deadlines over the Christmas period. If you’ve bought presents in October and you attempt to return them after the New Year, you may be left out of pocket. If you’re not sure what your loved ones want, then playing it safe and just asking them outright may be the best bet. If not, purchasing vouchers is always a broad alternative that pleases most people.

Starting the Christmas spend early will definitely ease the pressures of the festive build-up in December. Christmas can be stressful enough with the endless cooking and visiting distant relatives. Having money troubles on top of everything else can truly ruin your festive season. Be smart, be organised and be proactive, and Christmas will come and go without you breaking out in a cold sweat over your credit card bills.

As Featured In

You can get free debt advice from Money Helper,
an organisation set up by the government to offer free and impartial advice to those in debt. Just click the link above to find out more.

Council Tax Advisors is a trading name of Ruby Holdings Limited.
Registered in England and Wales, Company Registration Number: 09496123
Registered office: 103 Bradley House, Radcliffe Moor Road, Bolton, Lancashire, BL2 6RT.
Data Protection Number: ZA130896
Financial Conduct Authority Reference Number: 763879
We Are Here For You
If you want to consolidate your debt or are looking for advice with bailiffs, see how we can help.