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With just 100 days before Christmas, the build up to the festive season and all its expense is well and truly on.
It is a wonderful time when family and friends come together to share presents, food and drinks, and good times.
However, such merriment and generous giving does not come cheap.
Figures showed that people expected to spend some £784 on enjoying the season of goodwill in 2009, with a quarter of consumers expecting an outlay of between £1,000 and £5,000.
It is not just the presents that leave our wallets and bank accounts feeling battered and bruised, there is also the tree, the lunch and the decorations to take care of.
It is understandable that with the nation's shorts and T-shirts barely packed away after the summer, financial battle plans have yet to be drawn up for Christmas 2010.
However, with the day now just three pay cheques away, it is worth considering how you will cover your costs.
Probably the most important thing to do is budget. Work out how much you can comfortably afford to spend and stick to that amount.
The nature of Christmas dictates that some people will have to endure a frugal beginning to 2011, but significant overspending will mean an entirely miserable 2011.
For those that like to pay for their shopping with a credit card, a cashback card could help this Christmas.
There are a number of cashback cards on the market, which can be found by using the Moneyfacts.co.uk Best Buy tables.
One to consider in the run-up to Christmas is the American Express Platinum Cashback Card.
It charges 0% on purchases for six months and offers 5% cashback for three months on up to £2,000.
Credit cards are also worth using if you're buying items online – where goods can often be found cheaper – as they guarantee purchases worth £100 or more should something go awry, such as the company going out of business.
When buying online it is also worth searching for discount codes, as they help drive down costs even further.
If you find yourself with any surplus funds – should such a thing exist – you could always place them in a one year fixed rate savings account for Christmas 2011!
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