Calculating the Cost of Christmas

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Despite what the eager supermarkets tell us, it is far too early to be buying mince pies, however, it does make sense to start budgeting for Christmas now. YouGov estimate we will spend more than £820 per household, with £600 going on gifts and the rest being spent on food and drink at home.

Don’t Get into Debt

Christmas is enjoyable but certainly not worth getting into debt over. That expensive gift or lavish meal will be tainted if you know you’ll struggle when the bills come in January. Instead look at your budget between now and December 25th and work out what you can afford to spend.

Make a List and Check it Twice

Write down everything you can think you would possibly want or need for Christmas. Work out a rough cost and, if it’s too high to fit your budget, go through it again, crossing out what you can’t afford. Calculate what you will need to save in order to pay for what you want, and adjust your budget for the next few months to account for the extra money.

Share the Cost

If you’re hosting a family meal, can guests bring a contribution, whether it’s a pudding or a bottle of wine? Siblings can split the cost of their parents’ present, while extended families may be willing to do a Secret Santa rather than buy individual presents for every niece and nephew.

Buy Now, Eat Later

Supermarkets have already started selling discounted goodies to entice you to start your Christmas shopping. The trick with buying the tubs of chocolate and bottles of bubbly is to stash them somewhere safe so you’re not tempted to tuck into them early. Store them in the loft, or even at someone else’s house if you can’t trust yourself not to make your way through your body weight in Quality Street before December.

Shop Local

Make sure you take advantage of your local traders and shopping precincts for the best early deals! Dundee has an abundance of competitively priced shops, boutiques, salons and creative independent retailers to choose from, as well as all the large chain stores. Keep an eye out for 3-for-2 gift offers and half-price toy sales which run from October until around mid-November. There will also be the monthly farmers’ market in the City Square from 9am on Saturday 21st November. Think ahead and think local for unique gifts at the best prices!