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Christmas present

You’ve 12 weeks to get #XmasReady

Even though it’s the start of October, turkey sandwiches and festive jumpers are already on the high street. Which means Christmas is just around the corner.

It might seem too early to start thinking about your plans for December 25, but with just 12 weeks left until the big day you’ll want to get with it if you want your finances to be #XmasReady.

The #XmasReady challenge

Our challenge to you is to think ahead and only buy what you can afford so you don’t begin the new year with money worries.

To help, we’ll be sharing how you can make sure you don’t overspend on your presents, food and having fun.

It’s not about being a scrooge and not spending. Instead it’s really about thinking how you’ll plan your Christmas over the next three months – and not leaving it to the last minute!

You won’t be alone over the 12 weeks. We’ve also challenged three Money Advice Service colleagues to keep a track of their festive spending too.

Caroline, Nick and Gary will be sharing their progress each month and to kick things off we asked them what, if anything, they’ve already thought about for this Christmas.

Caroline Laws

I have to admit I’m a slow starter when it comes to Christmas. I do try to pick up a few bits and pieces in the January sales like wrapping paper and Christmas cards but I sometimes forget where I put them.

For family and friends I decided on the food and drink approach a few years ago. My view is that it’s always better to receive a nice bottle of wine, chocolates or festive treat like Panettone and there’s less chance that the present will be gathering dust or secretly donated to the charity shop a few months later.  

Gary Harvey

Christmas expenditure is something I’ve certainly had to think about in advance since having a family – the days of pitching up at mum’s house on Christmas Eve with some gifts and a bottle of sherry are long gone.

Not only is there the pressure of making the period memorable for your little ones, I now have the added cost of a trip to the Spanish in-laws to factor in.

It’s great to have the two differing experiences of Christmas, but just requires a little bit of extra forward planning.

Nick Hill

I feel I’m already quite prepared for this Christmas.

My wife’s present has already been covered. Last year I bought my wife a variety pack of taster sessions, like singing, acting and so on. Turned out she loved the singing lessons.  They are not cheap so this year I did a combined Christmas and birthday gift of them. I then wrapped it up in a nice box so she had something to unwrap on her birthday.

We’ve also already got all our transport booked. This year is a little trickier as we’ve got a wedding between Christmas and New Year. We’ll get a coach down to Somerset, then rent a car which we’ll drop off in London. This works out more cost effective than just renting a car from London for the whole time.

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  • wendydonaghey / 14 October 2016

    Ive had six children would do it all again stil paying debt off if nt xmas it was birthdays .this year have my daughter 16 on xmas wish me luck

  • Dr Quant / 13 October 2016

    People with BIG money problems? The last thing they want to see is Christmas in October! Especially as in-your-face as on here,
    as for the rest, how patronising can one get. Is this supposed to be for adults, or is it a game for children?