Martin Lewis has reiterated an important plea he first issued in Liverpool.
The countdown to Christmas is now on as Black Friday arrived yesterday. The sales event saw people flock to the shops to take advantage of discounted deals for presents.
The consumer champion fronted Money Saving Live earlier this week as he issued financial advice to viewers. It was the final episode of the year and Martin sent a message to anyone stressed about their finances during the festive season.
He broadcast a clip filmed in Liverpool on the Money Show Live a number of years ago, as he claimed he couldn’t say it better than he did then. In the clip, Martin warned how Christmas has become a “retail festival”.
He added: “Christmas should be joyous, but causes some people unhappiness, debt, and worry. Many people feel obliged to give gifts to others that they know they won’t use with money they don’t have and cause themselves stress they don’t need.
He added: “With Christmas it’s a zero sum game. I give to you and you feel obligated to give back to me at a similar value. To fulfil that obligation we do tit for tat giving, which means people end up with tat. Some people say to me what about the gift of giving but I have to be honest and say that can be selfish. “
Martin explained Christmas can cause people a financial burden as it forces them to mis-prioritise finances. He said: “It is time for us to get off this gift giving treadmill. I think sometimes the best gift is releasing others from the obligation of having to give to you. Let’s work together to ban unnecessary Christmas presents.
“Not for your spouse, not for smiling children under the tree but for that ever expanding list of friends, cousins and teachers that we feel forced to buy. Do right now, if you’re watching, use me as your excuse. Agree to make a prenup. A “pre Christmas no unnecessary present” pact.
“Or at least do a Secret Santa and cap it at £5 or £10. I’m not gonna give that extended list of gifts, I’m gonna give to charity instead. Less pressure. Less cost. Less debt and I hope more joy.”
When the clip returned to the studio, Martin said the message is more important this year then ever before. He added: “I don’t think it has ever felt more pertinent and personal than it has this year amid a cost-of-living crisis when many people are struggling.
“What I would ask that we all try and do is when you are thinking about giving someone a gift this year. Ask yourself truly am I making my gift a help or a hindrance. If it’s a help, give it with joy and give it with love. If it’s a hindrance. Stop.”
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