Money | Taking control of Christmas spend now

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Irish people are expected to spend €435 per person this Christmas on presents and other goods. We look at some of the best ways to control and reduce your Christmas spend this year. 

With the economy back on track, financial experts are expecting consumer spend to increase again this year. A recent survey by Webloyalty, a rewards programme provider, revealed that almost 20 per cent of us will spend more than €500 on presents alone.

It’s a lot of cash to spend, but it can quickly add up when you have children in your household.

Before you begin to fork out on presents and other items, find out how much you can actually afford to spend on Christmas. You do not want to be reaching for your credit card so try to spread your costs over the next five weeks (until Christmas Day).

Gifting is not about spending lots of money luxurious and expensive presents. It can be more meaningful to create certain gifts. Personalised photo books, framed pictures of families or handprints of children on canvas are often more appreciated than material goods.

Children may love toys, but they may have little value on presents from others during this time. As an alternative, ask the parents if they need more practical (and less costly!) items such as pyjamas, clothes or books.

Avail of offers on deal sites, such as Groupon. However, be warned that they come with many terms and conditions.

Homemade food hampers are another great present that is both practical and cost effective. With more supermarkets now offering deals, you can add a decadent mix of chocolates, snacks, relishes, dried foods and a bottle of wine.

Finally, shop around. Yes, it is exhausting but you will save a lot more by taking the time to source the best deals available.