What follows is my Park Christmas review. Always do your own research before saving or investing any of your own money.
Christmas is just around the corner once more. It is a time when families can start to get a little stressed out about finances.
Saving for Christmas can add stress and take away some of the gloss of this magical time of year.
Park Christmas is a scheme designed to help you save throughout the year. This will help pay for your Christmas in the form of vouchers to spend virtually anywhere.
This is my review of Park Christmas and how they operate and how they can help you save throughout the year to enable you to have a stress free Christmas.
What Is Park Christmas?
Park Christmas is an online scheme that helps you plan for Christmas financially. They simply help savvy frugal families put a little aside each week or month during the year. Near the end, you can choose between gift cards, gift vouchers, hampers, and gifts with which to make your Christmas truly special. Hopefully without all the stress and worry which usually revolves around December every year.
How Does It Work?
You simply sign up to Park Christmas and then set a personal target. This is usually an amount that you can easily afford and this can be either a weekly amount or a monthly amount. You must make sure this is a manageable amount and it isn’t going to leave you short for cash. Stick to an amount that is achievable for you.
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The next step is to choose the gift cards or gift vouchers that you would like to receive to use on your loved one’s gifts. Make sure you choose the ones with the largest list of retailers. This will give yourself the best choice when it comes to present purchasing.
Park Christmas also has a range of Christmas hampers and gifts as well. They have a list on the site where you can see if that would suit you instead of gift vouchers.
Once you have done this then you set up your payments be they weekly or monthly and you can then relax knowing that your Christmas is being sorted in advance and saving you all the added stress around that time.
Why Should I Use Park Christmas?
The main problem for most families is that in everyday life you dont get a chance to save. If there is money in the bank then it tends to be used for all sorts of things.
The average family Christmas now comes in at a whopping £800. Wow. That is a lot to come up with in your last couple of paychecks at the end of the year. If you put £67 per month into your Park Christmas fund then you would receive £804 in gift cards and vouchers. Not bad and enough to pay for Christmas without having to borrow or go short.
With Park Christmas, because you are setting up direct debits to a company it makes it that much easier. The money comes out of your bank account automatically. You never get to see it until you are exchanging it at the end of the year.
You may ask why can’t I just set up a standing order with my bank. Then I could pay a certain amount into my bank account each month. Well, the answer is you can. The only issue with this, of course, is that during the summer months it will be so tempting to spend some of it. This isn’t the case when saving your money with Park Christmas.
What Kind Of Vouchers Do I Get?
Park Christmas offers a range of vouchers with which to purchase your gifts for Christmas. My favourite ones and the ones I have used previously with no problems are the love2shop vouchers.
Love2shop vouchers are available to use at a wide range of retailers including but not limited to
- Boux Avenue
- Dorothy Perkins
- H Samuel
- Miss Selfridge
These are just some of the retailers available. There are also places you can take the kids such as Legoland and Madame Tussauds.
The options really are endless. Other park vouchers and gift cards that Park Christmas offers are the marks & spencer gift card, Sports Direct gift card, Superdry gift card, and Asos gift card. Along with a host of other options, you can see that Park Christmas really does have you covered.
Remember as well you dont have to spend all of the money on the gift card. Get the gifts you need then check your gift card balance as there may be some money left on it for future purchases.
When you have signed up you can simply download the park catalog and have a browse through to see which vouchers take your fancy.
Is My Money Safe?
Is your money as safe as being in a bank? No, Is it safer than it used to be? Yes. Listen if you know anything about Christmas schemes such as Park Christmas you are only going to hear of the bad stuff. Back in 2006, there was a Christmas scheme that went bust. Along with the company, most of the money was gone too. You can read about that here.
Park Christmas has learned from the other companies and your money is held separately from the firm’s accounts. This means if the company does go bust at least you can get your money back.
The main thing to remember is these schemes are not protected by the financial services compensation scheme. So although your money is likely to be returned to you should anything happen to the company it does not offer the full protection you would get from your local bank.
The other thing to remember is that you are receiving gift cards in the main and that you might lose out should anything happen to those companies.
This is true of many things in life though and I wouldn’t be overly concerned with Love2shop going bust any time soon. However, it is important for you to know these things.
The other thing of note is that if you decide to cancel your membership within the year then there will be cancellation charges. Again another important thing to note.
If there are other people in your family or you have friends that are interested but dont want to or can’t sign up themselves then you can act as their agent. Simply add them to your account, collect the money off of them on a weekly or monthly basis and pay it onto your account as you would your own money.
Not only do you get to help others but you will also receive a 25% commision on their orders.
These days even if you have a good job Christmas can sneak up on you. Having to find sometimes hundreds of pounds to get gifts and to see you through the Christmas period with just your last couple of paychecks can money tight.
Park Christmas is a great idea for families who like to be prepared and also for people like myself who have periods throughout the year when birthdays and weddings and other such events happen which use some of your savings and then along comes Christmas and you are a little short on cash.
My advice is this. If you happen to be a great saver then your best bet is to put your money into a savings account whereby you can access it at short notice.
If you are not a good saver or on a low income then perhaps a scheme such as Park Christmas is worth a little more attention.
Should you be looking to make a little extra money to be able to put into this scheme or into your bank each week then check out my post on how to earn £100 in a week.
However, you decide to save for this coming Christmas period or the next one I wish you a great time spent with your loved ones.