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Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert, appeared on a Christmas special of The Martin Lewis Money Show: Live tonight. During the show, he gave a warning for those preparing to buy Christmas presents.
Christmas is just four weeks away with many Britons already starting preparations.
Buying gifts for others is a tradition many people will do to celebrate.
However, the expert explained buying lots of presents is not always necessary.
Sharing a clip from 2018, Martin urged shoppers to think twice before giving pricey gifts for others.
He said: “Christmas has become a retail festival and it shouldn’t be.
“Christmas should be joyous but causes some people unhappiness, debt and worry.
“Many people feel obliged to buy a gift for others that they know they won’t use with money that they don’t have and cause themselves stress they don’t need.
“I think part of the reason for this is we have disconnected from why we give gifts.”
The expert revealed many people will spend as much on a gift as the price of the present they received.
However, doing this could leave some people in debt.
“With Christmas, it’s a zero sum game. For example, I give to you and you feel obligated to give back to me at a similar value,” Martin added.
“To fulfil that obligation we give tit for tat giving and people end up with tat.
“Some people say to me, what about the gift of giving? That can actually be selfish. It can misprioritise people’s finances and create a financial burden.”
Martin suggested Britons should stop feeling obliged to buy for lots of people at Christmas.
He said: “It is time for us to get off this gift giving treadmill.
“The best gift is releasing others from the obligation of having to give to you. Let’s work together.
“Agree to make a pre-Christmas ‘no unnecessary present pact’.”
When buying a present, Martin warned against picking gift cards as these are not protected.
He added: “Gift cards are not the safe option. People feel they are the easy option for giving gifts, but they are not the safe option.
“People lose gift cards, they forget they’ve got them and many have expiry dates which mean if you don’t spend them in time you lose the money.
“If the retailer goes bust you lose cash. You won’t get it back.”
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