More than a quarter of Brits (28%) admit to dreading the cost of Christmas, according to Debt Advisory CentreAs the most expensive time of year approaches, 18 million people say that they dread Christmas due to the cost. Young people (aged 18-24), are the most likely to dread Christmas with more than 1 in 3 (37%) agonising about the cost. 1 in 7 people (14%) say that they won’t really be celebrating Christmas this year because of the costs associated with the festive season. Almost a half of the under 35’s, 45%, admit that they won’t be celebrating Christmas as enthusiastically as they would like to, due to the expense.

The pressure to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ plays a key role in the Christmas expenditure with 1 in 5 Brits (21%) admitting the amount they spend is impacted by how much other people spend at Christmas. This pressure is felt most strongly with the under 35s with two-thirds (67%) say that they feel peer pressure to spend.

Debt expert, Melanie Taylor at Debt Advisory Centre, said: “Christmas is an expensive time of year for most of us so it isn’t surprising that people worry about the cost. It’s disheartening to think just over 1 in 10 of us feel that they can’t really afford to celebrate this year. Some are going even further and are forgoing the festive season completely. Financially, the most important thing to do is to work out what you can afford to spend, and stick to it, so you can start 2017 in a better place financially. It’s a sad fact that January is the busiest time of year for debt advisers as the cost of Christmas catches up with families.”