Christmas Special

Christmas Special

December 8th, 2009

Figures from Abbey Savings show that Brits will use £3.45bn of their savings this year to help cover their Christmas spending, with a third of us (32%) planning to use 9% of this year’s savings – an average of £221 each. 39% of us are currently saving nothing and one fifth (20%) of people claim to have no savings whatsoever to fall back on this Christmas. It’s no surprise however that the majority of people (59%) are planning to cut back this Christmas. research found that, whilst 31% of adults are worried about paying for Christmas, just 15% have made an effort to spread the cost over the course of the year. The rest will fund their share of the nation’s £11bn Christmas splurge using a combination of credit cards (14%), savings (10%) and ‘money available at the time’ (71%). Meanwhile 4.7m adults (10%) admit that they are still paying off debts from last Christmas. Before the recession calls from debt management and loan companies accounted for as little as 5% of all unwanted sales and nuisance telephone calls made to UK consumers. But now they are the biggest source representing over 28% of the 3bn unwanted sales calls made every year. Of the 84m unsolicited telephone calls made to UK consumers every year by debt management and personal loan companies, the highest volume of sales calls are received between November and February. APACS, the UK payments association reported that spending on plastic in December 2008 reached £32.3bn – £21.6bn on debit and £10.8bn on credit. The average value of a card transaction was £44.95. £4.7bn was spent online. Research by PayPal shows that over three-quarters (76%) of respondents plan to do some or all of our Christmas shopping online this year with one in five (21%) trying to spend less this year than last year. Research from Sainsbury’s Finance in January 2009 shows that only 56% of people expect to clear their Christmas expenditure within one month. Around 177,000 anticipate that it could take more than a year to do so. 4.9m people (12%) estimate it will take 2-3 months; 1.8m people (4%) estimate it will take 4-6 months; 924,000 (2%) estimate it will take them 7-12 months and 9.29m people (22%) don’t know how long it will take them to pay off their Christmas debts. Christmas lunch and the Queen’s speech are being joined by another festive staple, online shopping. Almost four million Britons bought goods online on Christmas Day, spending £102m, or 21% more than on the same day last year. Traffic leapt almost 100% between Christmas Day and Boxing Day, which was the busiest single day for online retailers in 2008, as shoppers looked to bag the best bargains from clearance sales without having to queue in the cold. Three in ten (31%) British adults spent more last Christmas than they did on Christmas 2007 according to Mintel. Many of us had good intentions to be a little more frugal at Christmas but the spirit of Christmas was simply too much to resist. 41% of adults said that they planned to spend less at Christmas but only 28% of adults said they actually managed to do this. Half of 16 – 24 year olds (49%) said that they actually spent more at Christmas 2008 than they had done in 2007. Instead of making the traditional new year’s resolutions of losing weight or drinking less, many Britons intended to get their money matters in order in 2009, it has been suggested. Research conducted by Halifax Credit Cards has found that of those making resolutions, 57 per cent wanted to review their finances. Christmas is coming and Santa is on his way‚ but it’s not the season of good cheer for more than one in three people over 55 who dread the festive season. Loneliness along with poor health‚ money worries and isolation can be so overwhelming that they can trigger depression‚ says Age Concern. In 2008 it was estimated that consumers spent on average £655 (food and drink £170; Gifts £359; Socialising £126) per person compared with £706 in 2007. This increases to £856 per person if you include cards and postage £53, Christmas tree and decorations £64 and travel £84. Information compiled by Credit Action Call Clare or Mark for a FREE financial consultation now on 0207 2886400 or email

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