Millions of Brits are worried about the cost of Christmas this year, with half revealing they plan to borrow money just to cover expense, a new study has found. While most will budget just £449 for the festive period – the reality is that we’ll each spend up to a whopping £1,086 on presents, food and drink, hosting friends and family, travel and accommodation.
Researchers polling 2,000 individuals found that one in three have considered taking out a credit card, loan or overdraft to help cover these costs. Half admit they would struggle without additional financial help, with the average Brit accumulating £287 worth of Xmas hangover debt.
A spokeswoman for the online lender MYJAR, which commissioned the study, said: “The true cost of Christmas can creep up on us unexpectedly, and if we’re not prepared, it can cause worry and anxiety. Saving small amounts, working extra hours or purchasing gifts throughout the year can help spread the cost, and ensure you’re not faced with eye-watering debt at the end of the year.”
”It’s very important to avoid unnecessary or impulse purchases which you can’t afford.”
The study also found parents said they would sooner give up buying new outfits, decorations and gifts for extended family members, than see their children go without this Christmas. The average parent will spend £142 per child on presents – and one in 10 will spend upward of £300 on their young ones.
Carried out by OnePoll, the survey also found women spend £110 on their partner, while it seems the more generous shoppers are men, who spend approximately £140 on their other half.
The average person will spend £147 on parents and siblings, and £64 on extended family members. When it comes to friends, work colleagues and our childrens’ friends, we will put aside £59 for gifts.
Savvy Brits will spend just £15 on Christmas cards, wrapping paper and postage, and £21 on Christmas decorations.
However, we’ll spare no expense when it comes to hosting the perfect Christmas – budgeting £93 for festive drinks, £116 for food, and £61 on little extras for our guests, such as serviettes, loo roll, Christmas crackers and additional seating.
And Brits certainly want to look their best this holiday, spending £86 worth on new clothes, accessories, make-up, and hair and beauty treatments for the festivities.
On average, we’ll spend £92 on Christmas parties and festive nights out and £48 attending Christmas-themed events such as Santa’s Grotto and ice skating.
Many of us will be travelling up and down the country this year to see family and friends, spending a reasonable £76 on petrol, vehicle hire and public transport, and almost £70 on accommodation.
A spokesman for MYJAR added: “It’s interesting to see how our money splits over the festive period, with people spending more on getting themselves ready for the occasion, than gifts for extended family members, or the cost of travelling the country to see family and friends. What’s more staggering is how different our budgets are, compared to our actual spends.”
”People sometimes spend nearly double what they budget, so it’s no wonder people feel the financial strain over the Christmas period and may resort to borrowing to help bridge the gap. It’s important to only spend what you can afford.”