This Christmas I have been a horrible parent, friend, daughter and girlfriend. I have waited until the very last minute to buy Christmas gifts. I bought one present today for my son (his birthday is on the 23rd as well EEK!). Tomorrow I plan to buy for friends and family.
The thing is….I give myself enough guilt so I’m not going to feel bad about this one. Its just Christmas, does it really matter whether I buy on December 2nd or December 22nd? I don’t need the newest toy on the block or the snazziest new tech. I’m happy (and everyone else is happy) with something cheap and cheerful.
The problem is that Brexit has caused the strength of the pound to decrease, so now £1,000 is $1200 instead of the previous $1500 a few months ago. I’m on holiday in America and my spending money is low (I guess I should also mention we are staying at the Hilton for 15 nights so that is affecting our cash flow as well). I set a budget in pounds thinking that when I arrived in America I would buy quality presents for cheap, but OH was I wrong. It’s pretty much the same price. So I had to cut down on my original budget.
Despite my cash flow problems during the holidays, I was quite shocked to find 42% of shoppers are cutting spending this Christmas on my voucher codes . I thought it was only me! I have to admit, I do like to live on the luxurious side, 100% Egyptian cotton down comforter and silk robe, YES PLEASE. But only when I really deserve it (always!). So while my spending habits are a bit extravagant, I also think it could be due to the fact that I’m starting to believe Christmas just isn’t about the presents anymore. I like being able to spend quality time with my family and friends. To finally have a full week off without having to think about work or any kind of responsibility except for (occasionally) changing a diaper here and there (the boyfriend splits this responsibility with me). And to not have to worry about the debt I am still paying off from university or just in general, the financial responsibilities for the house.
“Worryingly from the results of the study it still looks like many people will go into debt during the festive period, this obviously isn’t ideal and puts the pressure on in January as they look to pay off their debts. On the other hand it seems like we are starting to see a shift in society as people realise that they don’t have to spend a fortune to have a great Christmas” -Chris Reilly, General Manager of My Voucher Codes
In a world where products are easily thrown away and people move quickly onto the next one, people are starting to prioritise experiences over material items i.e. going to a comedy show together versus buying a watch. On top of this, people are becoming more savvy to the fact that Christmas is really a commercialised holiday. With the combination of increased debt and stagnate changes to wages, it makes sense that spending over Christmas has decreased. While initially this was surprising, reading this article made me realise that as much as we like to ignore it, we still are in a financial crisis.
My tips for saving during the holidays:
- Don’t buy so many presents, you just don’t need them and people end up throwing them away a year later
- Don’t go to America and assume you will save loads
- Don’t get the brand name toy, does your kid really know the difference?
- Buy experiences over material items, it’s scientifically proven that you will remember an experience over a product and memories are truly priceless (especially if its a good one, so choose wisely)
- Let your Mom watch the kids and go take a bath (okay this doesn’t have to do with saving but will help you relax about buying presents)
Okay, good luck everyone and Merry Christmas! You have two days, relax and put Netflix on.
How do you plan to save on presents?