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Christmas survey and infographic: Are we overspending?

8 December 2017

Around a third of Brits will use credit to fund Christmas this year, according to a survey compiled by online loan firm 247Moneybox.com released today.

The survey comprising of 209 respondents also showed that the average amount that will be spent in total over the Christmas period on presents, food and socialising exceeds £1500.

The results of the survey show that whilst the average spending figure will surprise some, there is quite a range especially when it comes to breaking out the constituent parts of festive spending. For example, the survey showed that the average amount spent on presents might be £555 however the median is closer to £480 with a range of £20 to £1800.

David Barking, a data analyst at the firm had this to say:

"We know that families are under pressure at this time of year in terms of cashflow and it is interesting to see the variation in the amount being spent on presents, food and drink and socialising over the Christmas and New Year period. However, it is important to make a budget and stick to it and not over extend as this could have a detrimental effect on household finances. We know this is special time of year for the family but turning to credit may not always be the best way to pay for "ideal" Christmas. Planning ahead of time might help you and your family manage your expectations."



Christmas day around the Christmas tree full of presents

Barking goes on to highlight the importance of shopping clever:

"To avoid a Christmas spending blowout, make a list of exactly what you intend to spend over the period and compare it to your income. Revise the list until you can be comfortable it is affordable. Once you have your list, this is your budget – now stick to it!"

Barking also suggests stocking up on food and freezing it now to help spread the costs and considering making home-made presents as an alternative.

What is clear from the survey is that with Brits spending around 25% of their gross monthly wages on Christmas, it's big business. The firm asked respondents if they thought that social media was setting an unrealistic idea of Christmas, to which over half agreed. Certain social media platforms maybe be great for self-expression and self-identity, but can be associated with high levels of anxiety, depression, bullying and FOMO, or the "fear of missing out".

The survey chimes with other surveys and studies being carried out at this time of year. The implication being that a financial hangover in the new year is likely and one that many could spend the majority of 2018 getting over. Whilst using credit over the festive period may be a sensible way of spreading the cost, it may also be an inappropriate choice.

The firm also chips in with an office round up of the best Christmas gifts ever as a discussion point on their social media sites. See below:

  • Games console
  • Dolls house
  • Toy car garage
  • Bike / trike
  • Phone and gadgets
  • Beauty gifts
  • Money (chocolate and real!)

The firm also points out that if anyone feels that debt is becoming uncontrollable then help is available. They advise talking to creditors and charities like StepChange who offer free and impartial advice to help get debt under control.

Click here to see the infographic.