18th November 2014
British festive expenditure is set to top £17bn this year with Britons expected to splash out an average of £383 per person claims new research from MoneySuperMarket.
The comparison site found that spend for those who celebrate Christmas will be highest amongst 35-54 year olds at £418 per person, falling to £339 for those aged 55 and over and £397 for those aged 18 to 34.
Those in the North East are set to spend the most with an average of £471 per person, followed by the Welsh at £415. Shoppers in Yorkshire and Humber are expecting to spend the least, shelling out an average of £318 each.
However, almost a third of those celebrating Christmas this year will have to borrow money to foot the festive costs. The survey found that a quarter will use their credit card to pay for presents, food and other festive costs, while 9% will dip into their overdraft.
A further 7% will use a loan, and 6% will borrow money from their family or friends. In addition, a savvy third of people will use money they’ve been putting aside especially for the festive season to pay for Christmas, while 34% will be relying on their savings.
Worryingly, MoneySuperMarket found that a number of people are still in the red from Christmas last year, with the average debt at £183.
Over a fifth of those who are able to estimate their Christmas spend this year, believe that they will splash more cash this yuletide compared to last year.
Kevin Mountford, head of banking at MoneySuperMarket said: “With only one pay day left for many people until Christmas, it is important to take steps now to manage your finances in the run up to the big day – and beyond.
“If you need to borrow money to fund the shortfall, then a credit card offering interest free purchases could be a good option for those looking for flexibility and an efficient way to spread the cost of Christmas. However, anyone taking up this option must ensure they are able to pay off the debt into the New Year or risk being hit by heavy interest charges when the interest free period expires.”
Alternatively, a cashback card may be a good option for those looking to be rewarded for their Christmas spend as long as you can clear the deficit at the end of the month added Mountford.