Nearly one in seven Britons (14 percent) are worrying about money every day in the run-up to Christmas, with 37 percent putting Christmas costs on credit, according to new research from National Debtline, run by charity the Money Advice Trust.
The research, based on a poll of more than 2,000 British adults conducted online by YouGov, finds that more people are experiencing worry, stress and sleepless nights this Christmas than last year, with an increase in the number of people turning to credit for Christmas costs.
The findings come as National Debtline launches their #peaceofmind social media campaign, supported by the UK’s biggest consumer website MoneySavingExpert.com to encourage people to seek support online to help ease money worries at this time of year.
The findings show that more people are experiencing worry, stress and sleepless nights this Christmas than last year.
- 13 percent say they ‘regularly worry’ about money in the run-up to Christmas, up from 10 percent in 2016. 14 percent say they worry about money everyday
- 3 percent of Britons say they lose sleep in the run-up to Christmas because of money worries – up from 2 percent last year.
- Nearly one in 10 people (9 percent) say that money worries are negatively impacting their enjoyment of Christmas – up from 6 percent last year.
The findings also show that more households are turning to credit this year to cover the cost of Christmas than last year.
- Nearly four in 10 Britons (37 percent) are putting Christmas presents on credit. This is an increase from 33 percent of Britons last year.
- Nearly a quarter of British adults (24 percent) are putting Christmas food on credit. This is an increase from 22 percent of Britons last year.
The research also paints a mixed picture of approaches to budgeting, with two thirds actively keeping costs down but over half not having saved for Christmas costs.
- Over half of Britons (55 percent) say they haven’t saved for Christmas this year and fewer than a third (29 percent) have a Christmas budget they are trying to stick to.
- Nevertheless, 30 percent say they feel ‘well prepared’ for the cost of Christmas this year, and two thirds (66 percent) are actively taking steps to keep costs down.
- Common approaches to keeping costs low include shopping around for deals (39 percent), buying online (35 percent), setting spending limits on presents (32 percent). Around one in 10 agree with others to only buy presents for children (9 percent) or not at all (10 percent).
Joanna Elson OBE, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline, said: “Money worries can affect people at any time of the year, but with the pressure to spend even greater at Christmas, this can cause even more stress. The fact that more people are worrying about money and feeling their debts are a heavy burden is a particular concern.”
Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert.com said “Too many people feel pressured into making a lust list of what makes the perfect Christmas. Instead start by working out how much you’ve got to spend and cut your cloth accordingly. If the answer is you have nothing, then go cold turkey! Have fun, see family, watch the telly, but try not to spend money. Christmas is just one day. Far more important is a happy, financially stress-free New Year.”