How do you cope with the financial stress of Christmas? I don’t mind admitting that it’s always a big deal for us. We tend to live month to month, so finding an extra few hundred pounds for gifts is really tough. Thankfully, we do secret Santa with my family which saves a fortune. But that doesn’t detract from the balancing act of avoiding over-stretching ourselves, making sure we don’t offend anyone and ensuring the children have a good Christmas.
The risk of financial stress
According to Mcafee spokesperson Raj Samani, a whopping 75 per cent of Brits say that Christmas causes financial stress to them and their families. The average amount spent on festivities is £482 and over half of us believe that festive stress can lead us to be careless when shopping online.
I can totally relate to this. We don’t spend as much as the average, but we’re very lucky to have a small number of people to buy for. We’ve also been strict with the girls from day one. They’re only allowed to ask Santa for one big present. With that, they’ll get some small stocking fillers but we rarely spend more than £100 on each of them.
Secret Santa is another great way to cut costs. I have four siblings and we do a secret Santa with a spending limit of £25. Enough to get something nice for one person, but it avoids spending £100 on getting something for everyone.
Despite all this though, I do look for bargains online. I think it’s entirely possible that I could be sucked in by a good deal that is in fact too good to be true. Mcafee say that half of people would have to cancel Christmas if they had money stolen and I’d definitely put us in that category.
How to stay safe when shopping online
Mcafee have some great tips on staying safe when internet shopping. The first is to avoid using public wifi where possible, because criminals could see your personal information and card details. If you do need to use public WiFi, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) will keep your connection secure.
Secondly, never click on a link unless you are certain it is trustworthy. Cybercriminals often send phishing emails that persuade consumers to click on a tempting link. This could allow them to put malware on your computer, or steal your information. If a deal seems too good to be true or you weren’t expecting the email then check directly with the company concerned.
Finally, make sure you always browse the internet with security protection. As time goes by, our day to day lives become increasingly entangled with the digital world. A comprehensive security package like Mcafee ensures all devices are protected from phishing, malware and theft.