Topical Tattle – Christmas Spending.

vevivos mouthThis morning I was on the Andrew Castle breakfast show on LBC Radio talking about PayDay Loans and Christmas spending. It was another interesting subject for discussion. I have previously been on the same show speaking about teaching your child the value of money.

I have to say that I could never get one of those PayDay loans. You know, the ones you see advertised during daytime TV where the people who aren’t working are enticed in with the promise of money if you have bad credit and everything will be OK! Well hold on a minute, isn’t the fact that people have bad credit the whole problem here?! Surely there should be measures in place to STOP this out of control spending.

I have been in debt for a long time. There is such a thing as financial abuse within a relationship and unfortunately I came to be in this situation with my ex. Of course, an element of this is my own fault and now, even if I could get a credit card, I wouldn’t. They are evil!

There is a new survey out conducted by the Co-op that states that parents are planning to cut back on Christmas parties and nights out so they can spend more on presents for their children. They found that around £145 will be spent on presents for each child this year, 10% more than a year ago. The poll of 2,000 adults also showed that most mothers would splash out more if they could afford to.
The research revealed that people will spend an average of £336 on Christmas this year, slightly less than last year despite the extra money on children’s presents.

I am in a tricky situation. I am one of 7 children so all of Grace’s Aunties and Uncles will buy her a Christmas present and so will my Mum and Ross’ parents and Ross’ sister. I am not with Grace’s father so she will get another set of presents from him. THEN it happens all over it again the following week when Grace has her birthday on 2nd January. I do my best to curb my spending and try and make her birthday the main event but, with Christmas being so very commercial, her birthday does get overlooked somewhat and then I feel bad for her.

I tend to encourage people to give Grace money for either Christmas or Birthday so that I can then put it toward the activities she asks to take part in. This year it was ice skating and, because we are no longer near a rink, she has decided she would like to try horse riding (being a massive horse fan I am secretly very excited about this!). But riding lessons aren’t cheap. I was preparing myself for £25 an hour and one of my sisters tells me that where she lives it is £38! Thankfully the stables near us are £16.50 an hour but even that is a lot of money to fork out.

I am doing everything in my power to ensure Grace isn’t spoilt. I restrict our review of items on the blog and always explain to her that I have to write about the company in return for what they have sent us. It is my way of paying for them. I really want her to understand that you need to work for what you get and that things aren’t just given to you on a plate. I also want to make sure that she respects the things she does have and looks after them, they are not ‘throw away’ and they have to be earned.

This weekend we shall be clearing out her bedroom of all the things she has outgrown – this includes toys and clothes – and we shall be making sure that they go to charity so that other children can enjoy them like she has. My Mum regularly buys things from charity shops and gives them to Grace. This is another way of helping her see that other children have enjoyed them before she has.

Spending will be curbed this Christmas. I will endeavour to help Grace understand the value of  money and that things are earned not expected.

If you would like to listen again then you can to the LBC podcast page here.

What’s your take on this? How much are you going to spend on Christmas? Do you think our kids are spoilt?



  1. November 2, 2013 / 7:47 pm

    I remember sitting in Starbucks after visiting the sales after last Christmas. A family came in piled high with new toys and I asked hadn’t Santa brought them enough. Santa just gave them a stocking and one toy and IOUs for more in the sales, great idea I thought, they can only play with one thing at once & parents can probably halve their spend! 🙂
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  2. November 2, 2013 / 5:56 pm

    I agree and think most parents feel under pressure to spend too much money on their children. As R’s not even 3 yet we’ve said we’ve going to buy him literally a couple of new toys but that’s it. His brother is only 7 months so he can have a new toy, not because he’s aware that it’s Christmas but to keep him occupied over a busy couple of days. I dread to think how it’ll end up by the time they’re both at school. I also (tried!) to agree with friends that we wouldn’t buy each others children Christmas presents (we do Birthdays though) but they’ve already shopped for my two so now I don’t really have a choice. I think going OTT with presents is madness especially when they’re too young to properly understand what’s going on!
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  3. November 2, 2013 / 2:19 pm

    Great post. We have been restricting our Christmas for a while and just buying for the children. I don’t want to waste my money buying something for someone who doesn’t appreciate it so we’ve said just buy for the children, but only vouchers and that way they can put them towards something that they will use and appreciate.
    I never resent buying them books and we probably have enough for our own little library!
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  4. November 2, 2013 / 10:58 am

    Brilliant post hon, totally with you on many of the things you’ve covered here.

    My mother was awful with money and subsequently I grew up with a very warped attitude towards it. I was in debt as soon as I could be, and had to learn the lesson the hardest way. My children will know the value of it, and that it doesn’t grow on trees 🙂 I always but their treats from charity shops and my 4yo actually refers to one as the toy shop, bless her.

    Hopefully not getting caught up on having the latest gadgets and so-called must haves when they’re young, will mean they won’t expect them in the years to come. Fingers crossed anyway xx
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