‘Tis the season to be jolly... so don’t stress!
The amount of money we spend on presents is escalating year-on-year, giving us more debt, more to wrap, and more packages for posting!
It seems more and more people are opting for the less stressful option of online shopping as a 2015 study revealed that the number of shoppers visiting UK stores decreased by 9 per cent on the Monday and Tuesday before Christmas last year. And, during the first 10 days of December 2015, in-store spending fell by 2.3 per cent while online spending grew by 9.4 per cent. Just imagine a Christmas shopping trip with no queuing at the checkout! If you missed Cyber Monday on November 28, then don’t worry as many high street stores still have online and in-store sales on in the run-up to Christmas.
Up to two million people were so worried about the stress of debt last Christmas that they cancelled spending altogether. The study, by loans company Salary Finance, also discovered than one in five will be getting into debt to fund their Christmas, by borrowing money or dipping into loans and credit cards. If you are one of them, consider switching your loan/credit card provider to get a better rate of interest. If you are almost finished shopping, and managing to stay out of debt so far, then stop shopping to prevent slipping into the red.
Some people loathe wrapping presents, for others it’s the highlight of buying someone a gift (apart from giving them it, of course!). For those who dread the mountain of gifts to be tied up, don’t make it an after-thought as this induces panic. Instead allow time to complete the task. Here’s a tip for stress-free wrapping – the Christmas cracker technique. Ideal for small gifts, simply roll a piece of paper around the gift, before gathering at each end and tying parcel ribbon around (you won’t even need to use sticky tape!).
Posting gifts to friends and relatives (especially if they live abroad, or down south) can be a stressful thought. And their gifts will be among another 130 million parcels handled by Royal Mail in December alone! Just remember that December 16 is the last posting day for sending cards/ gifts to Europe while December 21 is the last day for First Class mail (and December 20 for Second). And save yourself some money, and stress, by hand-delivering some presents and cards this year. It will be more rewarding.
130m presents are handled by Royal Mail in December!