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Brits Set to Spend Over £22 Billion on Christmas Cheer

CHESTER, England, November 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

  • Average spend tops £445 per person
  • 47 per cent of parents feel pressured to spend more than they can afford
  • Children to receive an average of £132 worth of presents each

With just over 30 shopping days until Christmas and only one more payday for most, new research from MoneySupermarket predicts festive expenditure is set to top £22 billion* with Brits splashing out an average of £445 per person this year.  This is up 1.8 per cent on last year's figure of £437 per person, representing an extra £1 billion** in overall spend. 

The survey questioned over 2,000 British adults and found spend will be highest amongst 35-54 year olds at £491 per person. The total falls to £423 for those aged 55 and over and £415 for those aged 18 to 34.

Those in the North East are set to spend the most with an average of £595 per person, followed by those in Wales at £531. Shoppers in the East Midlands are expecting to spend the least averaging at £355 each.

However, one in five, (19*** per cent) expect funding Christmas to get them further into debt this year, rising to one in four (25 per cent) for those age 18 - 34 vs. 21 per cent of 35 - 54 year olds and 12 per cent of over 55s. Of those surveyed, only 15 per cent of Brits are expecting their December salary to cover Christmas spend.

Amongst those planning to spend money this Christmas, 73 per cent expect to spend most of their Christmas budget on presents, with mums and dads planning to part with £132 per child on gifts alone.

Of the parents surveyed, 67 per cent are very cautious about what they're spending due to the current financial climate and almost half (47 per cent) agreed they feel under pressure to spend more than they can afford on their children. However, a third (34 per cent) said they are prepared to spend whatever it takes to give their children a happy Christmas.

The survey also asked parents how they planned to budget for their children's gifts this Christmas. One in four (24 per cent) said they will set a budget and not exceed it.  Just over a third  (35 per cent) plan to set a budget but may go over it, while 27 per cent indicated they will not be setting a budget but don't feel their spending ever gets out of hand. When asked the maximum amount parents would ever consider spending on an individual present for their child, £131 came out as the purchase tipping point.

Keen not to leave out everyone's favourite family member, 32 per cent of Brits are planning to purchase a present for their pet this Christmas, spending on average £7.85 on extra treats for Fido or Felix.

Finally spare a thought for women this festive season. The big Christmas shop is still predominantly the preserve of women and mums, with just 13 per cent of men saying they are their household's principal Christmas shopper.

Clare Francis, financial expert at MoneySupermarket said: "Christmas shopping is a significant area of expenditure for parents in particular. And with only one pay day left for most people until Christmas, it is important to take steps now to manage your finances in the run up to the big day - and beyond.

"A recent survey of MoneySupermarket visitors found, only 37**** per cent will fund Christmas using disposable income this year with an encouraging 34 per cent planning to use their savings. Using a credit or store card was the next most popular option for one in ten.

"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. Leading products such as the Tesco Clubcard Credit Card offer up to 16 months of interest free on purchases. However, anyone taking up this option must ensure they are able to pay off the debt into the New Year.

"A cashback card such as the Barclaycard Cashback Credit Card or the American Express Platinum Cashback Card may also be good options for those looking to be rewarded for their Christmas spend.

"Finally, using vouchers and searching online for the best deals on gifts and other items will also help your money go further."

Regional spend:

    Region                      Spend
    North East                  GBP595
    Wales                       GBP531
    Northern Ireland            GBP525
    North West                  GBP490
    Scotland                    GBP465
    Yorks & Humber              GBP453
    London                      GBP438
    West Midlands               GBP437
    South East                  GBP414
    South West                  GBP406
    East of England             GBP392
    East Midlands               GBP355
    Average                     GBP445

Notes to editor:


*Extrapolated based on adult population of UK being 49.9 million - sourced from ONS for 2012(49,969,000 x 445 = 22,236,205,000) £22.2billion.

**Brits expected to spend over £21 billion in 2011 - This figure is based on the research that found Brits planned to spend £437 in total on their Christmas presents in 2011.

The £437 figure has been multiplied by 49,529,000 which is the total UK population of adults 18 or over.

The population stats have been obtained from ONS 2008 population statistics year on year for 2011.

***Three surveys used in the release, all conducted by Opinium Research LLP with a sample of 2,000+ UK adults. Surveys conducted in Nov 2011 and Nov 2012.  

****MoneySupermarket webpoll 2012

How will you cover the cost of Christmas this year?

  • I'll dip into savings - 23.8%
  • I'll use my disposable income - 37.4%
  • I'll use my credit card/store card - 10.6%
  • I'll have to use my overdraft - 3.3%
  • I have been saving up all year via a savings scheme - 9.8%
  • I'll borrow money from friends and/or family - 1.7%
  • Unsure or don't know - 4.8%
  • I don't celebrate Christmas - 8.7%

Total votes: 2662

Voting Ended: 06/11/2012 compares (at 30th Oct 2012)

  • 129 car insurance brands and 100 home insurance brands
  • 10 broadband providers and 18 energy providers   
  • 30 unsecured loan and 5 secured loan providers
  • 62 mortgage lenders and 29 credit card providers
  • 66 savings providers and 37 current account providers.
  • Over 950,000 mobile phone deals

Our customers

We help our customers to save money on all of their household bills by providing a free, easy to use online service so they can compare a wide range of products in one place and find the product most suited to their needs. Our size means we are able to offer our customers exclusive, market-leading deals, including some they can't even get direct from providers.

Our providers

By having considerable volumes of informed customers actively looking for products and ready to purchase, we offer our providers an efficient and cost effective customer acquisition solution across all of our channels. This enables our providers to target their marketing spend in an effective and completely measurable way.

Our revenue comes predominantly from fees paid to us by product providers when a customer clicks through to their website and actually applies for or purchases a product. It is a success based marketing fee.

Our customer commitment

  • We make it easy to find the brands you expect to see
  • We strive to ensure a product cannot be found cheaper by going direct
  • We let you remain in control of your personal data
  • We are independent and impartial
  • We make it easy to switch and save
  • We strive to always show the most competitive product available

For more information contact:

Emma Morris
PR Manager
[email protected]


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