Christmas celebrations

Christmas preparations to make the most of the many celebrations over the season

The cost of Christmas Day is large for many people – but half of Britons end up repeating the experience over the period.

Christmas is considered the most wonderful time of the year, bringing with it the cosiest of atmospheres and quality time spent with friends and family. Over the years, however, the seasonal spirit has become increasingly costly, with many individuals scheduling in multiple plans with friends and family throughout the festive period.

The cost of hosting family and friends over Christmas makes managing money harder for some, a study has shown.

Modern day Christmas includes multiple events and increased costs

An American Express study has revealed that around half of Britons expect to effectively celebrate Christmas twice, as they will meet with others to share gifts and merriment on days other than December 25th.

With extended family, in-laws and friends to consider, some people are not able to fit everyone in together. This results in some having multiple celebrations, whereas others have to hold the festivities on other days.

The spokesperson for the firm, Julie Hay, said: “The face of contemporary Christmas in the UK is changing. Thanks to extended families and the rise in multiple celebrations, many people no longer have just one big gathering around the tree. Having loved ones to stay and going to stay with others is all part of the tradition and fun of Christmas but the costs can add up when visitors descend.”

The research found that this amounts to £4.1 billion for those hosting such events and for people who are at home for more than one gathering, it adds to the expense of what is already a financially straining time of year that puts the greatest stresses on most budgets.

While 56 percent of hosts would expect guests to contribute, this is not reciprocated as 23 percent of them feel strongly that they should not contribute.

Ways to save money for Christmas and the aftermath

For those playing host to these events and paying the bills, a budget planner may be a very useful way of steering through the financial minefield you may be presented with, throughout Christmas and into the new year.

As fun and joyful as the festive season can be, many of those who have been heavily committed in December run into debts and a lower disposable income, come January and February. A budget planner can help by enabling people to break down their costs item-by-item, ensuring the essential bills are paid first and less important items left until there is more cash available.

This is where prepaid cards can come in handy. They allow you to make sure that your planned budget is stuck to and that you don’t overspend in certain areas.

If you have a number of parties or events to attend, split out a percentage of your seasonal budget between these events, making sure to take your icount prepaid MasterCard with you, rather than your debit card. As a result, you’ll be able to attend each of the events, all whilst having enough money for other aspects of the Christmas season.

Who can benefit the most from these Christmas preparations?

Such measures may be needed most by older people. A survey by Saga found that the majority of expenses that come from hosting Christmas parties falls on individuals within this age range.

The most burdened age range is those between 50-60, of whom 65 percent pay the whole cost of food and drink for the day.

Samuel Mond, Director of icount, comments: “As the cost of Christmas increases year upon year and with most families forking out for the turkey and all of the trimmings more than once, it can be a very expensive month.

“With a budgeting aid such as the icount prepaid MasterCard, you can manage your money more intelligently so you can squeeze that last sprout out of a successful budget.”

Looking for a Christmas bank account to help you manage your money over the season? Take a look at what icount’s current account with prepaid MasterCard could offer you.

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