I’m a mum and I have a strict £40 budget for my kids’ Christmas presents – people say it's mean, but I swear by my rules | The Sun

A MUM has divided opinions after revealing she restricts her Christmas presents budget to just £40 per child.

Jamie-Lee Birch, 31, shared her frugal festive plans on TikTok – leaving users split over whether or not she is being too stingy.

The mum-of-two said she limits her spending by using the rule of "WNWR" – which means "something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read".

Jamie regularly shares her top money saving tips and tricks on social media, and shocked some fans with her thrifty £40 limit.

She lives at home with her husband Austin Sutton-Jennings, 36 and their two children, Harper, six, and Kit, two, and says she wants to "normalise Christmas on a budget".

The 31-year-old racked up a whopping 3.6 million views with her clip showing what she has purchased for her kids this year.


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As the "something you want" she got her daughter a karaoke machine, and a fun den kit.

As the "something you need" she bought her daughter socks and knickers.

For the "something to wear" Jamie bought her a pair of M&S pyjamas, as well as a dress from Vinted.

Finally, for the "something to read" she got her daughter a Lego games book from Amazon and a fairy sticker book from Home Bargains.

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The TikTok racked up 374,600 likes and tens of thousands of comments – with viewers torn between whether the budget was commendable or too "tight".

One person responded: "Erm think this is a bit tight sorry".

Another user added: "I'm so sorry but I'm a materialistic person and as much as I love my family and the experience of Christmas I would cry."

"Christ. Poor kid," said another critic.

One user suggested: "I’m all for this but I mean come on you could put £5 a week away, that’s one less coffee or takeaway a month but the end of the year it’s over £200."

But some TikTok users took her side, and felt the budget was more than reasonable.

One said: "I’m with you all the way!! I’ve just had a little girl and I’ll be doing the same."

Another added: "Absolutely love this! Getting sick to death of how OTT Christmas is and how much debt you can potentially get in for presents they’ll never remember!"

“It’s actually scary how materialistic some people are these days, these presents are lovely,” said another fan.

Another person added: “I think this is wonderful. It’s totally unnecessary to spends hundreds/thousands on Christas. There are so many fun free activities and ways to celebrate.”


For Jamie-Lee and Austin, their budget buys have been a triumph.

"We wanted to see what we could afford to spend this year on each child without having to take on debt, so we came up with £40," Jamie-Lee told NeedToKnow.online.

"We've spent more previous years, and I am sure we will spend more again in future years, but for this year, this budget just felt sensible and achievable for us.

"I saw the WNWR trick somewhere years ago, before we even had children, and thought it was such a lovely sentiment.

"It also helps to ensure a well-rounded variety of gifts that can be enjoyed.

"We've done it since my little girl was born, and I try to do it in some form for birthdays as well."

We can’t wait to play some games and just to spend some quality time together

The mum-of-two makes sure to stick to the rule, but would spend the odd few pounds here and there if she sees anything she thinks her children would like – but only by a maximum of £10.

Of the mixed response to her TikTok, Jamie-Lee said: "It's so sad, not only for me but also for others who can't afford to go big this Christmas.

"It doesn't get to me too much though as I can say 100% that my children will have a wonderful and magical Christmas, it is so much more than gifts.

"We have so many lovely things we do as a family in December and on Christmas day, I have no questions over them having the best time and not even noticing their Christmas was 'done on a budget'.

"We generally budget well year-round, most of our clothes are preloved, hand-me-downs or from preloved sites.

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"We are mindful of things like petrol usage, energy or gas – I think like many people we take small steps where we can to save money.

"And with the hate comments, if you haven't got anything nice to say, then you don't need to say anything – just scroll by."

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