Christmas - Preparing for ChristmasChristmas is only (gasp!) 9 weeks away. Whether you like it or not, Christmas carols will start trickling into the shops. Decorations will start cropping up over town, and you can’t avoid it! Worst of all is the potential cost of all of this. Christmas is a notoriously expensive time of year. We all want to give our family the best Christmas ever, and parents often spend more than they can afford on their children. Today, we’re breaking down some of the costs, and helping you plan the festivities. If you start purchasing items now, it will help lower the burden as December creeps up.

The total average cost

In 2014, we spent an average of $700 per person on Christmas. That includes everything from gifts to decorations to food. Across the country, children can expect an average of $200 worth of presents each. It seems that children are the real winners during the holidays! Naturally, the average personal cost of Christmas rises when we look at the age range of 35-54. Parents are inclined to spend a lot more than anyone else this Christmas.

The Christmas Price Index

Before we move on to break down some of the individual prices, let’s take a fun look at the Christmas Price Index. It’s a tongue in cheek breakdown of the 12 Days of Christmas song. It uses the current market price to rack up the cost of a partridge in a pear tree, two turtle doves, etc. It’s been running for 30 years, starting in 1984 at a modest $12,623. It now stands at a staggering $27,673. So, if you’re thinking of buying your loved one every item on the song list, think again! It is just a joke, but it’s a good indication of how the cost of Christmas rises every single year.

Gifts

Gifts are almost always the most expensive part of the budget. We’ve already explained how children reap the rewards (but aren’t their smiling faces worth every penny?) We also tend to spend a lot of money on our significant others at Christmas. Every family is different, but if you want our advice, start buying now! Avoid the mad rush on Christmas Eve where the stores are packed, and the prices are high.

Food and drink

Next on the enormous list is a healthy amount of food and drink. (Although the contents are anything but healthy). Again, you can break this down, and start buying certain items early. Get your hands on a big frozen turkey, and keep it stored for the big day. Wine and alcohol are also marked down at this time of year. Get out, and stock up, folks!

Travel arrangements

The travel costs tend to creep up on us at Christmas. All of a sudden, we need to get planes and trains across the country to see loved ones. Try to avoid the crowds by booking early, and saving yourself a little cash. Start budgeting now, folks, and you’ll keep those payments in check. Here’s hoping for the best Christmas ever!

DISCLAIMER: These articles are for information only and should not be construed as advice. You should always seek advice prior to taking any action.