Keeping spending in check to prevent debt or reduce the need for more debt management later is not a fast-track to a miserable Christmas, an expert has said.
Psychologist Cliff Arnall said the sort of budgets some people set themselves are "beyond ridiculous".
He advised: "You don’t have to spend a lot of money, because expensive gifts are often forgotten. It is the gifts that people have thought about and carefully considered that are remembered. "
Mr Arnall added that people should "not just to follow what everyone else is doing or the latest trend or hottest toy".
People can spend their money in better ways, he suggested, such as eating out or taking a holiday.
Those taking on such advice may help themselves to enjoy a better Christmas than those who spend heavily and end up regretting it in the new year as they face a large credit card debt or owe money in other ways.
Consumers who are in debt may decide that rather than putting the money that does not go towards presents on holidays or eating out, they use it to consolidate debt.
The comments come after the publication of a survey carried out by Opinion Matters for Conrad Koh Samui showing one-in-five people take until March to pay off the cost of Christmas.
In addition to this, it found 80 per cent of people take a month to overcome the stress of the event and around ten per cent take four months to lose the weight put on over the festive season.
By Joe White