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Almost half of Brits plan to pay for Christmas with credit and overdrafts

Almost half of Brits will turn to credit cards, store cards and overdrafts to cover the cost of Christmas this year, according to the Money Advice Service’s annual Christmas spending survey released today.

The survey of 3000 people also showed the average UK adult will spend £530 on Christmas this year, adding up to a total ‘seasonal spend’ of £26bn, a £2bn increase on last year.

Yet 30% said they will find Christmas harder to afford this year than last year.

Christmas presents going to waste

According to the survey, we spent nearly £2.4bn on food, drink or presents last year that eventually went to waste – either because they were unused, unneeded or unwanted.

This is an average spend of £28 per person on discarded food and drink. A total of 37% said they received presents that they didn’t use, with an average value of £54.

Christmas spending can easily get out of hand - 37% of people admitted they feel under pressure to put on a special day for their family, while more than a quarter (26%) said they spend more than they can afford.

Payday loans pressures

The research revealed around 1.4 million people are planning to use payday loans to help deal with the pressures of Christmas spending, a rise from the estimated 1.2 million who planned to use this option last year.

If you’re thinking of using payday loans, make sure you have checked out the alternatives first.

Savvy Christmas shopping tips

A quarter (24%) of people do not plan ahead when it comes to Christmas spending.

To make sure you don’t end up with a Christmas spending calamity, you should list what you expect to spend on Christmas and stick to it.

Other things you can try is stocking up on food and freezing it now to help spread costs; avoiding store cards; and considering making home-made presents instead.

Cost of Christmas

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