A new survey of 1,001 UK adults carried out by Oaksmore ISA has found that even those households that claim to live comfortably throughout the rest of the year will to struggle to cover the stream of Christmas costs this year. 

Of those surveyed, 80% admit that Christmas expenses put them under financial strain. This is even true of adults with a household income greater than £100,000 a year, as almost a quarter (24%) of this group also claim to feel the pinch during the Christmas season.

The results revealed the biggest expense during the festive period, aside from gifts, to be Christmas dinner, with the cost of feeding an entire family coming in at an average of £315 per household. 

Festive outings were found to be the second biggest expense at Christmas, with the average adult spending a total of £200 on winter activities such as ice skating, Christmas pantomime with the kids, and visits to Christmas markets.

The research also highlighted how much Brits love to drink over the season, as this expense came in third on the list at an average of £140 per person. Travel expenses placed fourth on the list, with the average adult spending £90 visiting family and friends over the festive period. Completing the top five was the Office Christmas party expenses which weighed in at an average of £80.

The research also found that 60% wish they had planned ahead this year and set aside savings to help cope with the inevitable Christmas expenses.

Reuben Skelton at Oaksmore said “Planning ahead and investing savings wisely throughout the year can really help families make the most of their finances over Christmas. 

Top 10 biggest Christmas expenses (after gifts):

  1. Christmas Dinner for the whole family (£315)
  2. Festive outings (£200)
  3. Drinks (£140)
  4. Travel (£90)
  5. Office party (£80)
  6. Festive clothes/ party outfit (£70)
  7. Decorations (£50)
  8. Christmas Tree (£50)
  9. Cards (£15)
  10. Office Secret Santa (£10)