New research from PayPlan has revealed that Christmas is so expensive that people are now struggling to pay the rest of their essential bills.

The free debt help service surveyed 1,000 people about how they are managing their finances. They found that 55% of parents will rely on their credit cards to cover their essential living costs this Christmas, including the household bills.

Respondents from the survey also agreed they experienced some form of negative emotion from their financial situation, with half of the parents (50%) saying they had felt stress from it. 23% even admitted they will need to borrow money from friends and family members just to make it through the season.

Jane Clack, from PayPlan, said “Christmas spending varies between each household, but the price that’s paid ultimately comes from the question: how important of a priority is Christmas when compared against the cost of living?”

“You should set yourself a budget as early as possible in the lead up to Christmas, to make sure you are fully prepared. If you find money is tight over the holidays, you may want to get thrifty over the festive season and be on the lookout for offers, as well as charity-shop bargains.”

“Newer festive holiday dates such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday have seen a push toward retailers dropping prices which can be a help, but it can also lead to customers buying more expensive items to cash in on a ‘deal’ for something they were never intending on purchasing. You will want to be careful to not make an unnecessary purchase.”