Christmas Shopping ‘Should Start Now’

The festive season may be a couple of months away but getting the presents in sooner rather than later can help busy Brits avoid rash purchases, it has been claimed.

From must-have toys to sleek, chrome-plated gifts, whatever you’re planning to buy for loved ones this year, give yourself plenty of time to make those all-important purchases, a consumer psychologist has advised.

Cathrine Jansson-Boyd, reader in consumer psychology at Anglia Ruskin University, wrote in the Metro that there are various benefits to starting the Christmas shopping early. Taking time enables shoppers to pick out the perfect gifts, while rushing at the last minute can lead to poorly judged snap purchases, she suggests.

Even adding a second or two on to the time spent making a choice can lead to a better decision, the psychologist writes, giving the brain the opportunity to focus on what matters and block out irrelevant information.

The last-minute rush in the lead up to Christmas leaves many consumers feeling frazzled, and stress does nothing for your wallet – negative emotions can lead to increased spending, which might be good news for the shops but not as much so for your bank balance.

To make the Christmas shopping less stressful, Ms Jansson-Boyd advises starting sooner rather than later, looking for deals over Black Friday and Cyber Monday but not being so excited by a deal that it skews your judgement. Paying with cash when possible is also advisable – people have been shown to spend more when paying by card because it feels less like parting with real money.

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