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Will the rising cost of living impact your Christmas plans? We asked our readers to share their views
We’ve teamed up Allianz for our Securing Your Future series.

CHRISTMAS IS A joyous time of year. With gatherings galore, gift-giving, and not forgetting the copious amounts of food consumed! It’s the perfect time of year to sit back, put the feet up, and spend some quality time with family and friends. 

That being said, we’re all feeling the pinch these days, and we can’t deny that the festive season is a costly time of year for many. As part of our Securing Your Future survey* series with Allianz, we’re looking at all different aspects of life and heading into the festive period, we wanted to find out how households are feeling ahead of Christmas. 

The first thing we wanted to establish was how much those surveyed are spending on Christmas gifts as a whole: 

Allianz-info6

You can see from the above results that 35% of those who took part in our survey are spending over €500 on gifts. 

No matter how you look at it, this is a significant extra cost within a short space of time, especially when you add in any socialising costs for December. There can be a massive amount of pressure around this time of year to spend, spend, spend! And with everyone feeling the pinch with the cost of living this year, it’s hard not to think that the extra cash spent could go elsewhere, such as bills! 

Of those surveyed, we also wanted to find out the level of concern when it comes to how the cost of living at the moment will impact their Christmas plans:

Allianz-info5

As you can see, a whopping 42% of those surveyed admitted that it will have an impact on their Christmas, 25% revealed it will have a substantial effect and 18% said it will have an enormous impact on their festive plans.  

Although we know things can be a strain at this time of year when it comes to finances, there’s always ways to look at your spending and really think about ways to save. Here’s a few tips to help you manage your budget around this time of year:

  • Make a plan – It’s not December yet, but it’s never too early to start planning your Christmas food shop, especially just before the November pay check lands. Ticking that off the list and knowing a good bulk of the (non-perishable) food and drink is sorted for Christmas, will be a massive weight off your shoulders. With grocery price inflation, it’s good to do your research and plan out your Christmas meals in order to get the best value for money. 
  • Buy fewer gifts – Let’s face it, our families love us unconditionally and it’s not about how much you spend at this time of year. Have open and honest conversations about trying to save money and suggest a Secret Santa option for the family, you’ll be surprised by how many people will agree with you. After all, it’s the thought that counts. 

givesagiftchristmaspresentslaidonawoodentable Shutterstock / oatawa Shutterstock / oatawa / oatawa

  • Seek out the Christmas deals – You have to be savvy at this time of year and remember not to take all retailers at face value. Shop around for the good deals, do your research and get as much out of those Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals as possible. 
  • Combine your online spending – If you’re choosing to spend a good amount on online gifts this year, don’t forget that the costs of shipping can add up. Plenty of retailers offer delivery for free if you spend a minimum amount, so plan out your online spending on a certain day in order to get the most out of your purchases! Check if you can buy multiple gifts from one online department store to save in the long run, another good tip is to check out the ship-to-store option, this is usually free!

Cost-saving tips aside, it’s important to remember that many people are struggling financially. There’s no harm or shame in cutting back and remembering the true meaning behind Christmas – and although it can mean different things to different people -  it’s certainly not about how much stuff you can buy! 

*Poll conducted for Allianz & TheJournal.ie by Ireland Thinks. Date of Survey: 4th to 6th November, 2022. Sample size: 1,307. Margin of Error: +/- 2.8 per cent

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