We’re spreading the cost of Christmas ...

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A new survey shows women are better than men at budgeting for Christmas presents.

None of the canny shoppers we spoke to in Spalding were using plastic to fuel the festive fun, although the TopCashback.co.uk survey reveals 15 per cent of women and 20 per cent of men in the East Midlands resort to credit cards.

Yvonne Taylor: shops year round for Christmas presents. SG251114-118TW

Yvonne Taylor: shops year round for Christmas presents. SG251114-118TW

The survey also found more than a quarter of women in the East Midlands buy Christmas gifts through the year to spread the cost.

Care home worker Yvonne Taylor (65), from Spalding, told us: “I do my Christmas shopping all year. I start in January – you have got to when you have four kids and I don’t know how many grandchildren. I like to be on top of it.

“I usually shop in Spalding but I have been to King’s Lynn and I am going again on Friday because they have got a Primark.”

Hazel Colver (56), from Donington, said: “I get my Christmas shopping all through the year – it’s an expensive time because my daughter was born on Christmas Eve.”

David Burgess (67), from Holbeach Drove, said: “I don’t do too much Christmas shopping because my wife does it all.”

He likes doing his little bit of festive buying at Beales in Spalding, preferably on market days when the town has more atmosphere.

Bob Wishart, a retired instructor with the National Construction College, is another who leaves Christmas shopping to his better half.

He said: “I only buy the wife’s Christmas present.”

Choosing that all important gift is made easier for Bob because there’s a family member who doubles as Santa’s elf.

Bob explained: “I rely a lot on my daughter because she will tell me her mother’s mentioned this or that.”

Mark Watling is a former Spalding market trader who is now a director with an industrial cleaning firm.

Although he’s delighted to see the town still has a vibrant market, Mark’s festive shopping is all about making sure his family get the gifts they really want.

He said: “I just buy everybody vouchers. I get mum a voucher from the hairdresser’s and the nieces and nephews get theirs from Argos.

“I hate buying stuff that people are not going to use.”

The TopCashback.co.uk survey also said people aim to spend around £20 on six to ten presents.

But teacher Sarah Le Sage, from Spalding, said: “I think about the person more than what I am planning to spend – I don’t just buy smellies, I spend time looking for something that’s right for the person.”