New research reveals how people are paying for Christmas 2013, how much they are planning to spend and what they will money goes on
Prudent shoppers are planning to tighten their belts this Christmas but they are unlikely to let it affect their generosity. According to new research carried out to investigate people’s attitudes to their finances during the festive season, a quarter of people (25.6%) plan to spend less on Christmas 2013 than they did a year ago but one in five (19.8%) also admits that they get carried away and spend more than they’ve budgeted for.
When more than 2000 adults were asked how they plan to cover to cost of Christmas, the vast majority are determined to avoid getting into debt for the festive season. More than half (56.3%) say they will use money they have saved and a fifth (21.2%) will use their current pay check (but admit it leaves them short for the rest of the month). A quarter (26.5%) will put at least some of the cost on their credit cards and a further 17.3% will use other forms of borrowing (with just 0.8% taking payday loans).
Despite best intentions just 3 in 10 (27.6%) people save enough to pay for their entire Christmas, although another 18.3% save up but don’t have enough to cover everything. More than a quarter (26.1%) say they don’t have enough disposable income to save for Christmas.
Russell Hamblin-Boone, Chief Executive of the Consumer Finance Association said: “With the rising cost of living people are being sensible this Christmas and not only thinking hard about how much they spend and but also where the money is coming from. They still want to be generous to loved ones and have a good time but have acknowledged that their pay cheques are under pressure.”
The survey also found that of those who used credit last Christmas, nearly 1 in 10 (8%) didn’t pay it off until April with 16% in a position where they still haven’t paid it off. Men seem better at managing their Christmas debt with 32% paying off their debt in January compared to just 23% of women. And more than twice as many women (21%) as men (10%) are still paying for Christmas 2012.
Russell Hamblin-Boone added: “It is important to consider your options to avoid a financial hangover that lasts all year. Saving is obviously desirable but out of reach for many. However budgeting is crucial for everyone, so spend some time considering your options and keep track of how much you are spending to help you stick to a budget.”
So, are people resigned to getting into debt to cover the cost of Christmas? Less than 1 in 10 strongly agreed with the statement ‘I have accepted that I will get into debt this Christmas but it’s worth it to give my loved ones a nice Christmas’ compared with 41% who strongly disagreed.
According to the poll, British consumers spend £166.38 on socialising during the Christmas period, with men spending more at an average of £191.64 compared to women who spend on average £149.50. Of those polled, the age group that spends the most is 25-34yr olds spending on average £190.31 with most being spent in Northern Ireland with an average of £210.26. Those who are employed spend on average £190.19 with those who are unemployed spending on average £135.11.
When it comes to presents, British shoppers reported spending an average of £321.44 on presents, Christmas cards and decorations over the Christmas period. Those polled who are 35-44 years are the most generous spending an average of £343.76 on presents, Christmas cards and decorations.
And the pre-Christmas food bill hits household budgets hard as well. Of those Brits polled the average spend on food and drink at home during the festive season was £145.12 with nearly 1 in 10 (9.2%) reporting that they spent between £201-£250. The average spend of those unemployed is £126.76 compared to an average spend of £160.97.