According to new research from the Money Advice Service, Christmas spending is expected to hit £29bn this year.
People are expecting to spend, on average, £46 more than last year reveals new research commissioned to launch its Have a Savvy Christmas campaign.
The research, conducted amongst 2,175 UK adults by YouGov, reveals that just over two-fifths of the nation who are set to celebrate Christmas – 19 million people – anticipate this Christmas will be more difficult to afford than last year.
More than one in ten of those who took out a loan or a debt for Christmas last year are still paying it off now, although just under a quarter say they managed to they clear all their 2011 festive debts before the end of March.
UK adults expect to spend an average of just under £592 in total on Christmas this year.
More than a quarter of us admit we often get ‘carried away’ and spend more than we can afford at Christmas. Of those who admit to getting carried away, overspending is driven by the natural desire to please loved ones, including partners and family members (59 per cent), and wanting to give kids the perfect Christmas (28 per cent).
The Have a Savvy Christmas campaign includes the Christmas Money Planner – a free online tool to help people quickly get to grips with the overall cost of festive celebrations: www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/savvychristmas.
Money Advice Service director Karen Broughton said: “This research highlights the concerns many people are facing in the run up to Christmas. The costs of the festive season can quickly mount up. At the end of a long year when many have been feeling squeezed financially for some time, it can be daunting to be faced with a very expensive month.
“Typically, with just two monthly pay days before Christmas, there are lots simple things you can do to make your money go further and take the pressure off your budget. For example, spreading your shopping and treats to take advantage of late deals or early discounts in shops and online can really help.
“I urge everyone to use our Christmas Money Planner (www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/savvychristmas), whether spending over £1000 or under £100. It’s a simple and quick tool to help people plan for a financially worry-free festive period.”