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The true cost of our Christmas (AD)

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AD. For the last few years I have been working hard to budget well. We have sinking funds, an emergency fund and we are careful to save throughout the year for upcoming one off events, such as weddings or special Birthdays. In 2020 together my husband and I saved, and budgeted, to spend £700 on Christmas 2020, and today, in collaboration with Park Christmas Savings, I want to share a run down of our costs, and whether we had actually saved enough money!

Katy looks into the camera, wearing a grey jumper, in her office, with a MacBook open displaying the Park Christmas Savings website and the easy sign up screen

The true cost of our Christmas

Christmas Food: £136.79. This was all the additional food and drinks. Advocaat, wine, turkey, all the trimmings, cherries for Tom’s cocktails, Christmas crackers, everything basically! We spread this over 3 shops, to try to ensure we could get everything we wanted, and take full advantage of some special offers too on those must have items.

Gifts: £422.95. This includes gifts for Thomas and I, Daisy, extended family gifts and £70 of gift vouchers that I gave to some of my older nieces and nephews. We have quite a few people to buy for just buying gifts for our parents, siblings and nieces and nephews. For Christmas 2021 I think we will cut back on grown up gifts a little, and gift more family presents; board games etc, as this spend is creeping up over the years now, despite Thomas and I not spending lots on one another! We do have 15 nieces and nephews though, and 1 great niece!

Katy holds a pile of cardboard boxes while wearing a black and white spotty t-shirt and smiling into the camera

I spent the most money on gifts for my husband, as I treated him to new trainers, his favourite snacks, beers and a few clothing items too. I shopped mostly from High Street retailers for his gifts.

Gift wrap / Packaging: £4.50. 2 lots of sellotape for £1 each! We already had lots of brown parcel paper, so I used that, and some leftover wrapping paper I found in a Christmas box in the loft. Then near the ‘big day’ Tom mentioned that he did not have any wrapping paper organised yet, so I ordered another 12M of brown paper on our grocery shop that week just to ensure we had enough. This was £2.50. If I had left him to order he would likely have ordered wrapping paper or gift bags online at a cost of around £6-7. As he has done in previous years.

Days out/Activities: £0. We didn’t go anywhere besides enjoying a roadside visit from Father Christmas, which Daisy’s grandparents kindly paid for, and Daisy absolutely loved!

Usually we would have a visit to a Grotto, with a gift and photographs, and perhaps a family trip to the Pantomime, which is mostly why we came in under budget. IF we had carried out our normal Christmas activities then I would have been over budget I feel, so I’m going to avoid forgetting about this side of the spending for Christmas 2021.

Christmas clothing: £9. The reason for this was Tom already has a Christmas t-shirt, and jumper, that he has had for a couple of years now. Daisy STILL fit into last year’s Jumper and I found my Maternity Christmas jumper in a box in the loft with Christmas decorations, so wore that! I did spend £9 on a t-shirt from Asda, from the maternity section, and I’ll probably list that on eBay near the end of this year for someone else to enjoy!

Total spend on Christmas 2020: £573.24. As you can see we came in under budget, which was great, and as a result we had some money left in our savings pot. This leftover money has gone towards purchasing items for our new baby.

Do you want to get organised for Christmas 2021?

Now is the PERFECT time to get organised for Christmas 2021! I love knowing that I have budgeted, and saved, for Christmas each year during that year. I’ve done it for several years now and it really removes the pressure. I can start shopping from November and know that I have enough money saved to buy everyone a lovely gift, and to enjoy nice food too. Never having to get into debt for Christmas is a really freeing feeling and I feel grateful I have become more motivated with money.

Park Christmas Savings have helped more than 2.7 million families to spread the cost of Christmas and there is no better time to start budgeting for Christmas 2021 with your own personalised plan than right now!

Park offer weekly or monthly payments, to suit your income, and you can pay by direct debit, online and telephone banking, online, via the Park app and more!

You can opt to receive a Love2shop Gift Card which allows you to shop with over 90 different brands, such as Argos, M&S, TK Maxx, Iceland and many more. You can also exchange the card online at the Love2shop website for e-gift cards to spend at more places including Primark, The Entertainer and ASOS.

You can even order gift cards for specific retailers, such as ASOS, Dining Out Gift Cards and combination Love2shop and supermarket cards (Asda, Tesco and Sainsburys) to help pay for those big Christmas food shops. As Park ensure customers money is held in a trust you can start paying for Christmas 2021 with confidence.  

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