Brits spent on average £641.90 on Christmas Using December Pay Checks or Credit Cards Last Year

Research from an online money saving and voucher code website has revealed that last year the average Brit spent £641.90 on ‘Christmas with all the trimmings’. They also found that the majority of people did a lot of their Christmas shopping in October and November putting the cost onto their credit cards, store cards and overdrafts.

Looking into how to help save consumers money in the run up to Christmas and so people can avoid getting themselves into debt, an online money saving and voucher code website My Voucher Codes surveyed 3,325 people in the UK to find out how much they spent on Christmas last year, when they started their Christmas shopping, and how they paid for it. They found that, on average, people spent £641.90. Women spent marginally more than men, £660.60, compared to the £625.70 that men spent. Also those aged between 45 and 54 spent the most, on average £759.30. This was considerably more than those aged 18 to 24 who spent just £360.20.

MyVoucherCodes also asked participants: “When did you buy most of your Christmas presents last year?” The results showed the majority of people did most of their Christmas shopping in October and November. The full results can be seen below:

  • Boxing Day sales of the previous year – 5%
  • First half of the year, January to June – 5%
  • Summer sales July to September – 8%
  • Around October/November – 40%
  • Early to mid-December – 27%
  • December 24th (Christmas Eve) – 15%

The research also revealed a huge 27% of people leave their shopping till the last minute in December, with 15% panic buying at the very last minute. Leaving shopping till the last minute can cost you more, especially if you panic buy. My Voucher Codes further asked the participants: “How did you pay for Christmas 2015?” The majority of respondents, 48%, relied on their pay checks, whilst 35% opted for credit cards. The full breakdown is below:

  • Relying on paychecks – 48%
  • Using credit cards – 35%
  • Using arranged overdraft – 10%
  • Using a payday loan company – 5%
  • Borrowing from friends or family – 3%

Chris Reilly, General Manager of My Voucher Codes commented on the findings:

“We all know Christmas is an expensive time of year. There are plenty of ways to save money, but due to its continued commercialisation even the most prepared shopper can’t get away from spending. Leaving all your shopping till last minute isn’t good for your sanity, nor your wallet – it can leave you with large bills to face in January, a right Christmas hangover!“

He added:

“However you don’t have to get yourself into debt to be able to enjoy Christmas, there are other options available. Planning and preparation can help as well as starting early with saving and also breaking up your shopping for Christmas throughout the year.“

About John Malger