Average British family's Christmas budget at breaking point

Thursday, 18/12/2014

At the risk of sounding a bit like Ebeneezer Scrooge, we think it's safe to say many family financiers are glad Christmas only comes once a year. Especially when, according to financial analysts, the cost of your average Christmas keeps climbing year on year. 

Keeping the larder stocked with festive treats and tipple, the cost of expensive meals and drinks with friends, and buying mountains of presents can stretch even the most generous of budgets. As a result, saving money for the new year is getting harder and harder.

According to a newly minted round of research, the cost of Christmas is stretching many family budgets to breaking point, with your average UK household spending as much as £750 on gifts, food, and decorations in the weeks leading up to the big day.

The survey, conducted by one of the UK's leading banks, discovered many families leave their Christmas financial preparations until the last minute, failing to budget for the holidays as well the equally costly period between Boxing Day and New Year's Eve.

Over 2,000 families were asked to take part in the study which found that the average household also spends £642 in the period after Christmas.

Breaking down the costs, the study revealed that £121 goes towards the cost of travel and visiting far-flung relatives, £206 on festive food and drink, £120 on sales shopping, and £195 eating out at restaurants and pubs.

Zoe Shore, First Direct's chief of marketing, said: “We know we will have to splash out on gifts, decorations and the Christmas dinner but we found that the majority of us don’t account for what goes on after Christmas Day and the sum of all those small spends – a meal out here, and bottle of wine there."

To help families in the fight to save money, we recommend checking out one of the many money saving apps currently available, many of which are designed to help families who struggle to make ends meet during the holidays, cut costs.

Payday loans are not suitable for, and would be expensive as, a means of longer term borrowing and are not appropriate if you are in financial difficulty.

Representative 1269.7% APR

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Warning: Late repayment can cause you serious money problems. For help, go to moneyadviceservice.org.uk