Christmas spending is set to hit £19 billion this year, with Brits ignoring the Brexit blues and splashing out an average of £415 each in the run-up to Christmas – 4.5 per cent more than the same time last year according to research by MoneySupermarket. The research predicts that:

  • Brits will splash out £19 billion this year on Christmas spending – an average of £415 each – compared to £397 in 2015
  • Nearly a third (29%) will have to borrow money to fund the festivities and will need three months to repay this debt

The research explored spending habits on Christmas food, clothes and entertainment and found just one in 10 people (13 per cent) will be more frugal this year. Those living in the North West will be the biggest spenders, with an average £480 per person, rising to £520 for Liverpudlians. At the other end of the scale, people in Yorkshire and Humber will be working to a budget of £354. The average Christmas spend in Wales is expected to be £460, while those in Scotland will spend £455.

People aged 35 to 54 anticipate spending the most, at £465 on average each, while those aged 55 and over expect to pay out £414. The total amount spent on Christmas falls to £359 among 18 to 34 year olds.

This increased generosity comes at a price, with almost a third (29 per cent) of those celebrating Christmas claiming they will have to borrow money to cover the cost. Over a fifth (21 per cent) will use a credit card to pay for presents, food and other festive costs, while six per cent will dip into their overdraft. Those who borrow money for Christmas expect it will take on average three months to repay this debt.

However, an additional 23 per cent of those surveyed have saved money throughout the year specifically to pay for the festive season and accumulated an average of £381 as a result. Three fifths (60 per cent) of these people have been setting aside money on a regular basis since last Christmas. A fifth (21 per cent) have made spending cutbacks throughout the year, a further 21 per cent have set themselves a strict budget to fund the festivities and seven per cent have saved a bonus from work.

Kevin Pratt, consumer affairs expert at MoneySuperMarket, said: “As we approach Black Friday and the start of the Christmas shopping season, and with spending set to increase this year, we urge people to take some time to plan how they’re going to fund the festivities. By working out the best way to spend, you can end up saving a substantial amount of money and ease any financial hangover in the New Year.”