Christmas – how do we afford it?


ChristmasChristmas is full of expense – turkey and all the trimmings, parties, presents, festive visits to parents… These things don't happen by magic – someone has to pay for them – but how do we budget for it all? Budgeting account provider conducted a survey* with Opinion Matters to see how people approach their Christmas spending. It seems that most people are stressed about the cost of

Christmas presents (71% of women and 54% of men), but some (8%) are still willing to overspend and worry about the consequences later.

Consumers worried about cost of presents and parties

In the survey, 64% of respondents said their biggest concern about Christmas spending is buying gifts and all the socialising at this time of year. In other words, those costs are a major consideration for an estimated 32 million people in the UK. And it seems almost 7 million of us feel obliged to spend a certain amount on presents, even if it puts us over budget.

Budget, or blow the budget? Christmas spending attitudes

Around 4 million people are prepared to spend whatever they like this Christmas and worry about the financial impact afterwards. It's an attitude to money that could easily lead to money worries in the New Year. Yet as we get older, it seems we become more cautious with money. Among older generations (those aged 55 and above) only 10% say they feel obliged to spend a minimum amount on Christmas presents, whereas younger people are much more likely to feel this kind of pressure (26% of people aged between 16 and 24). It's quite reassuring then, to find an estimated 14 million people saying they always budget properly, so their
Christmas spending doesn't lead to problems in the New Year. And 8 million people (17%) spend the year saving up so they'll have more spending money for the festive period. While many of us may get taken over by the madness of holiday spending, there are millions more thinking about the future and determined not to let the additional expense of Christmas affect their financial wellbeing. After all, perhaps the best present you can give yourself this Christmas is a New Year with healthy finances…   * The research was conducted by Opinion Matters between 24th and 31st October 2012 with a sample of 1478 UK adults. Population estimates are based on ONS Census mid-2010 estimate.

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