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How Will You Be Paying For Christmas?

It’s autumn already, and before you know it the festive season will be here. There are already mince pies and puddings lined up in the seasonal aisle in the supermarket, and there are adverts on the TV telling you to buy your sofa now so it is delivered in time. Soon it will be time to buy your presents, before wrapping them and putting them under the tree.

Is it just me or does Christmas seem to get more expensive each year? There are more people to buy presents for, more expensive food items in the supermarket, never mind the actual cost of the presents themselves. It takes me almost a whole year to have enough cash for everything I need to buy for my friends and family. This got me wondering how other people fund their festivities. Do you have special savings for Christmas? I asked my friends and here are a couple of examples of what they do…

How Will You Be Paying For Christmas

Use a savings account

Like me, many of my nearest and dearest have shared that they have a savings account with their bank or building society. Most of us have instant access accounts, but I know a couple of people with limited access agreements which generate a bit more interest for them. The reason I use an instant access saver is that you never really know what’s around the corner when you have a family home to run. We always have to make sure we have funds available if the boiler breaks or we need some repairs for the car.

Sign up to a Christmas savings scheme

A couple of my older friends swear by Christmas savings schemes. The idea is that you pay in small amounts during the year so you have a good pot of money put by come the festive season. There are a number of different schemes running in the UK at the moment; just by searching online quickly I found them with the Post Office as well as the leading supermarkets. The one downside to a scheme such as this is that you won’t be able to withdraw your funds if you need them; they are locked in until November or December when you get all of your money back in the form of gift cards or vouchers.

Use a credit card

Finally, if you haven’t saved up in advance, you might be tempted to use a credit card to fund your Christmas purchases. If you are going to do this there are a number of ways you can make the repayments less painful. The first is to look on a price comparison website and see which cards won’t charge you APR during the first year. The second is to sign up to a company who is able to give you benefits for your spending – think along the lines of Tesco’s Clubcard credit card. Also, make sure you don’t spend more than you can pay back, or else you will find yourself paying back money for many months or years.

About Teri

Teri Hardy is a 30-something married, mom of 7 and the face behind the popular online publication, Motherhood Defined as well as the founder of Mom Powered Media. Known as the Iowa Mom blogger by her local peers and “The Fairy Blogmother” worldwide. She loves to write, doodle & go, go, go. Control freak, master multi-tasker and shopaholic. Ms. Hardy has professional experience in working closely with clients on brand ambassadorships, client outreach services, content creation and creative social media advertising exposure.

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  1. Jen Rodrigues says:

    All of this so true when it comes to Holidays. This year is going to be rough especially since I am unemployed :( thanks for the tips.

    • linda moore says:

      Chrismas is supposed to be fun and with the family. They have ruined the true meaning of it.I have two grandsons living with me and on a fixed income.I don’t know what I am going to do.I wish and pray that something good will happen.

  2. Duck Mommy says:

    We’ll be using credit cards to all the double points and free shipping, but pay them off in January.

    • Double points is always a grand reward. Hoping to cash mine in next year to help get my flight to blogher!

    • Matthew Edwards says:

      I do the same thing!! If you don’t have the cash to pay it off in Jan, setup a separate savings account, so that a set $ amount is deposited each paycheck. Use that to pay off the credit card after you received your point/cash back from the credit card! :)

  3. I buy presents year round a bit at a time when I find a good sale. Anything last minute I find at the dollar store.

  4. I don’t use credit cards at Christmas (don’t want to have to pay for it after). I pay cash. I save and put away all year long into a credit union and then at Christmas I get the cash.

  5. I usually do the latter, but for years now we’ve been paring down and our holiday spending isn’t quite so lavish. Good tips though for those who still go all out.

  6. I have used savings before in the past years but this year we are trying something new. Just a gift exchange. Each of us will draw a name and have $60 to purchase for that person.

  7. Alejandra Carrillo says:

    It really does seem like christmas is getting more expensive but it’s because there is more advanced technology. :/ i def would take advantage of deals like black friday and after halloween sales. Do the shopping early or on certain weeks because there are deals.

  8. These are some great ideas on how to pay for Christmas. However, since every year seems to get more and more expensive I’ve already thought about saving up months ahead of time, lol. It looks like pretty soon most people won’t be able to afford Christmas.

  9. Mary Mosier says:

    I’m praying to win something, anything to help with christmas. I am unemployed at the moment, so have been sweeping a lot. Praying for a win !!

  10. md kennedy says:

    I will be paying for Christmas with my credit card, and believe me I will not be spending a lot on “stuff!” Everyone I know has too much already, so I will be donating to charities that are meaningful to them.

  11. And this is why black friday is so successful! The most expensive, but the most enjoyable, holiday 😀

    • Love Black Friday. This is normally when I grab up all the extras to even out the presents with my kids. Can’t be a huge tub of blocks for $5 or cookware sets for $20!

  12. Great article, super good ideas. Christmas certainly does seem to her more expensive every year.

    You have a cute family!

  13. sandra davis says:

    I put money aside all year when I have a little extra. It adds up.

  14. I will pay with cash. How many presents do our kids really need? Seriously?

  15. Renee Ashley Hanna says:

    I will be taking up a second job right after Thanksgiving to pay for Christmas. Christmas is right around the corner for sure. I do not own credit cards so I pay for everything with the money I have in my account which isn’t much but I know God will make a way for my family to have Christmas. :)

  16. Maria Iemma says:

    I will be paying with cash. I save all year for Christmas and make sure to stay within my budget.


  18. DENISE SMITH says:

    we have been saving up on cash and will be paying for christmas this year by money alone

  19. My kids and grand children live out of state so I send a check. My husband and I buy ourselves something if we want.

  20. We try to buy through out the year so it isn’t such a big hit to our budget. We also have a Christmas savings account.

  21. Adam Morgan says:

    We save by doing handmade gifts oftentimes. My wife is a graphic designer. We make our own cards and save that way as well. Every little bit helps.

  22. I started paying on mine back in February. I’m so happy to say that we are leaving to go on a cruise Christmas morning. I’m not usually too fond of Christmas – this year I can’t wait!! And how I paid for it was a bit each couple months…now paid in full.

  23. I wholeheartedly agree everything is more expensive than the year before. I just can’t stand it when there are less ounces of actual food but for more money. Uggh. The only real defense is to start buying a few small things at all the after Christmas sales and keep adding to my stash as the year progresses.

  24. gail ward says:

    I always end up broke at Christmas,never fails
    it happens every year. I did not know about the
    Christmas savings scheme until I read it here
    on your post,it sounds very interesting but for this
    year I will have to drag out the ole trusted credit card.

  25. Richard Hicks says:

    We have a savings account that we contribute everyweek. Usually we have enough to cover xmas

  26. peggy fedison says:

    Urgh. Unfortunately, Im going to have to use my credit cards. I am still recouperating from esophagus cancer and dont work so have limited funds. So.. Im gonna have to .. CHARGE IT!!

  27. Katt Lewis says:

    I think saving monthly is the way to go. Always so happy not to have to put it all on a credit card at the last minute.

  28. Julia Cosgrove says:

    This year is going to be tough since I recently started to stay home and homeschool my sons. I have been saving up gift cards that I won and I have won a few gifts. Hopefully my husband will get his annual bonus to help us as we have no credit cards.

  29. I have to shop all year long. I have 4 children & spouses, 9 grandchildren, my hubby & we exchange gifts with his family (my SIL & BIL & their 2 kids). If I did shopping at just Christmas time it would be a huge bill all at once. So I take advantage of every sale all yr. long & hide it in my closet.

  30. This year will be especially rough since my husband was laid off and my part time job no longer exists. I have been looking to use my creativity to come up with inexpensive ideas for gifts this year. I’m currently baking cookies and thinking of doing some sewing ideas.

  31. i will be paying by my credit card as i just got a new one. i love buying presents for my loved ones

  32. Emily Linton says:

    We tend to buy Xmas gift throughout the year so it’s not a big expense all at one time!

  33. I have been very blessed this year. I’ve spent less than $30 out of pocket on Christmas presents. I do surveys to earn Amazon credit, and I enter giveaways to win items to give away. Thankfully it’s helping a tremendous amount this year!

  34. sherry bracy says:

    with no job christmas will be a very sad time this year! great tips though!

  35. nathaniah says:

    We had a tough year, we just moved, so Christmas will be tight but we will be saving a months of rent this month so we can use the next payday on the 1st and do our shopping. Great tips I will be opening a savings just for Birthday/Christmas funds. =)

  36. Jody Cowan says:

    We use cash at Christmas, from saving all year. These are good tips though. The savings scheme sounds really good.

  37. lauren duke says:

    We pay in cash every year. No toy or present is worth going in debt.

  38. Lorna Patrick says:

    Christmas just keeps getting more stressful each year for me as my Children are growing up, getting married and having children of their own.. More gifts to buy. I just want life to be simple again.

    • Lorna Patrick says:

      I forgot to mention that we will be paying for Christmas with cash and for sure next year I am setting up a Christmas fund account. I love that idea!!!

  39. Vivanna Wright says:

    I try not to worry about the material things so much. I was Blessed with the amazing gift of my first child on Christmas of ’78; my son,Adam,died in ’07. I just want to enjoy my family and have a peaceful holiday.

  40. My Husband gets a bonus check for Christmas that we count on for buying gifts. The thing about that that sucks is that he doesnt get it until about 8 days before Christmas. Not much time to shop and almost all the top toys are gone.

  41. carla bonesteel says:

    My boyfriend and I literally take our last paychecks before Christmas, and go out shopping that night, and spend it all! It’s terrible, but we have no extra money to do it any other way….

  42. Linsey Nessen says:

    I have an instant access savings account that we have money from our paychecks direct deposited into for our Christmas savings. We didn’t start doing this until we had our first child a couple of years ago and I wanted every Christmas to be so amazing for him and needed the funds to do that. It has been a life saver! No more scraping by to fund Christmas. I LOVE Christmas shopping and now don’t have to worry about where to find the money for it!

    • If possible, put a little extra for the college savings. We did savings bonds and education funds. A parents responsibility of college is tough, but it does help. Education is the gift that keeps giving.

  43. This year is going to be rough.My husbands medical insurance keeps rising. Where he works they don’t get regular raises.Now, I got a letter from the Dr. saying in order to keep him we have to pay an additional fee. I have no idea if we can afford to have Christmas this year.

  44. christmas gets more expensive every year because people get older which means presents must be more pricey. But i don’t mind buying presents for loved ones. I’m a saver more than spender so I try to find gifts that are within a certain rage and still be meaningful. If anything, I shall use my artistic talents and make them something :)

  45. i will be paying for Christmas with my gift cards

  46. heidi eaton says:

    I have no money so I’m entering as many giveaways as possible in hopes of winning some gift cards or some gifts that I can give away for Christmas. I have 8 grandchildren I’d be happy with at least enough for them.

  47. Kimberly Carroll says:

    Good Article! And yes, Christmas seems to get more costly every year! Especially since my family keeps growing and my income does not!!

  48. David Smith says:

    This year is going to be pretty slim pickens as far as presents. In February I started having severe pain in both hips. They said it was bursitis and tendonitis causing all of the pain. I got a cortisone shot in the left hip (which was extremely painful). It helped for only about 4-5 hours. Later in July I started having severe pain in my lower back. They took an x-ray and I have no discs left between several vertebrae and one vertebra is tilted. I just finally got to a orthopedic doctor and they are scheduling a MRI. Since I had stent surgery awhile back, he said they would not be able to do any surgery until after I am off the Plavix, which has to be taken for a year after stent surgery I guess. So I haven’t had any income since February except for a few months of disability and cashing out my 401k. I hope my tribe has a good year for our disbursement share next month, otherwise I won’t be able to buy my 13 year-old son and my fiancee much of anything for Christmas. Hopefully they will also approve my long term disability and I can get on social security disability since I can’t work at all because of the extreme pain and pain pills.

  49. We don’t have much in our savings, we just used it for closing on our house. We only use our one credit card for important or emergencies things, not Christmas.. We always talked about having a “save money during the year.. hopefully next year wont screw us over as much as this year did, haha.. So Christmas will be in February when we get our tax return! lol

  50. Mary Mosier says:

    Praying to win something!! Really in a bind this year.

  51. melissa cushing says:

    I am paying cash and signing up for a whole lot of giveaways!!!!! Thanks for so many awesome ones!!!

  52. Unfortunately, I won’t be shopping for Christmas after a year and a half of mounting medical bills
    which has caused me to go broke. I have had to look into Toys for Tots and other programs in the area to assist the family this year.

  53. I look for any deals I can possibly find, internet shop on Black Friday. All of that.

  54. Christmas clubs are the best. Hardly even noticed that we were saving. I read that you have 7 children. I can only imagine what juggling and responsibility that is to keep all the college savings accounts straight let alone the Christmas gifts (the count, size and aprox. total cost etc). I have a lot of lists of lists.

  55. Paula Weintraut says:

    Would really have help if I could Win a giveaway but being a WAH Person not much is going on for Christmas with little money. My prayers are everyday that I could find something in the mailbox to share with my children and grandchildren. Layed off this year was not a big help.

  56. candy kratzer wenzel says:

    We pay cash. Whatever we have left from paying bills in oct. and nov. is what we work with to get presents. I will not go in debt for a holiday.

  57. heidi eaton says:

    I have no money, so I’ve been entering every giveaway I can in hopes of wining at least something for my grandchildren. I have 8 of them and not much time left I’m nt havig much luck with that. I guess this Nana doesn’t do Christmas again this year.

  58. Jo Ann Zavala says:

    I have been crocheting gifts all year and what is not crocheted, i will bake and cook the other gifts. I do not need to spend extra money on christmas,

  59. I also enter contests to win gifts.

  60. I do try to save up on the days leading up to Christmas!

  61. Cynthia Cover says:

    Wow, I had never heard of a scheme before, when you pay a little each month, that’s pretty cool…..my plan is to enter every giveaway possible….yes, it takes a lot of time, but I have already won 2 sweeps. Hope I win a few more.

  62. I don’t think we have anything like the Christmas savings scheme in the US. I’ve never heard of anything like that before.

  63. Our family limits gifts among the adults. I make many gifts and budget and get things on sale. You can let the holidays cost you a fortune if you allow it, or you can plan ahead, and also, try to work things out with others, so that nobody feels uncomfortable. That is best case scenario, but it is worth trying.

  64. I will just wait and see what comes.

  65. Shopping the sales in January has helped me a lot for this Christmas. Target has toy clearance in January, and we did well for bdays and still had quite a bit left over for Christmas. We’ll also shop Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. LEGO are always on my list, and it seems like this time of year is the best time to get them. I often use coupons (like the $10 gift card with a $50 purchase at Toys R Us), and pair them with sales. Everything goes on a credit card that is paid off in January to get the points. We also try to think up ways to serve each other for gifts. For example, We’re going to decorate my daughters’ bedroom–which won’t cost too much money, except for the paint we bought in the mistint section for $5 a gallon, and fabric for curtains that we already had on hand. My husband is also planning on putting up a tile backsplash for me. We’ve had the tile for almost a year. We also did a “swap” with friends last year, and may do that again. Another man’s trash. . .

  66. Our family won’t be buying presents this year since no one has the money to purchase gifts. We will celebrate with a meal.

  67. Our family will celebrate the holidays by sharing our time together rather than exchanging gifts.

  68. bianca roman says:

    I will just be using some money from my paychecks.. i didn’t allocate any money this year or last year..apparently, i’m not that great at it even though i know it comes every year lol :((

    my mom has told me before that she used to have a christmas account at the bank..same thing – put money away throughout the year and you can elect to take it out like a month before to do your shopping..it makes sense and i may try and look into it for next year.

  69. Paula Weintraut says:

    Trying to Find the best Bargins and some are easy to find after a little huinting and using all the posible coupons and discounts possible . On a very tight budget this year

  70. My family has had a really tough year and I am hoping that I will be able to get some special gifts to make this Christmas fun and meaningful. Thank you for the great tips!

  71. Vanessa Mayer says:

    Using credit with no interest payments., only if paid back on time!

  72. claudia culbece says:

    how much we will need

  73. Holidays are a hard time financially.so sad how most of us are so stressed out by money. we will be using a credit card and some money we have saved up for christmas and keeping a pretty tight budget. Its hard when there are alot of family members in your family!

  74. Pirathepan Kamalanathan says:

    Credit Card, so I can get points. Plus there 1 year bonus warranty on Electronics if I use CC.

  75. Unfortunately, I will be following the others that have commented using credit cards & hopefully racking up some reward points.

  76. We are trying to teach our children that Christmas is not about all of the presents and will be going easy this year. Money is tight and they are seeming spoiled and acting entitled lately. I am getting a little help from giveaways and such and will use my husband’s Christmas bonus and monetary gifts from family to help out as well.

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