The festive season is fast-approaching and while kids are getting giddier by the day, Christmas can often bring a sense of sheer consternation for adults across the UK. 

The pressure of playing Santa Claus often means that parents spend far more than they can afford to, in order to keep their children happy and entertained.

A 2009 survey showed that 77% of parents were willing to incur debt to fund their festive spending, during what is already an expensive time of year. Research showed that the average family forks out almost £40 a day on keeping boredom at bay from their children during the Christmas break.

Along with splashing out on toys and gadgets, parents are most likely to keep children entertained by spending on additional activities such as going to the cinema or going out for meals.

And so we thought now is the time for a bit of money saving advice, just in time for Christmas! With six weeks to go, our message to you is… relax! Although organisation might be your forte, research shows that buying presents before December could cost you around DOUBLE than getting them closer to Christmas.

This is down to the fierce price wars in which retailers slash their prices in order to entice all of the Christmas shoppers. According to the comparison website mySupermarket, prices for puddings and chocolates are far higher now than they usually have been in the December of previous years.

Johnny Steel, a spokesman for the website, said: “It’s good to be super-organised ahead of Christmas but often it’s worth holding back on buying your treats until December.

“As early as September we’ve been teased with mince pies, Christmas puddings and sweets in supermarkets tempting us to stock up in advance.

“But as the research shows, on average prices will drop in the coming months.”

According to CreditAction statistics, average consumer borrowing via credit cards, motor and retail finance deals, overdrafts and unsecured personal loans has risen to £4,433 per average UK adult at the end of September 2010. As great as Christmas is, do you really want to be putting that burden on yourself?

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