With many of us looking forward to having a little rest over the festive season, Christmas seems to be approaching a bit too quickly for many consumers who are really feeling the financial pinch. Online voucher codes website My Voucher Codes commissioned a study which zoned-in on the spending habits depicted by Brits around Christmas time, particularly taking into account how this differed from the previous year’s spending. 2,300 UK residents gave their responses to the question ‘How has your Christmas spending changed this year?’ with 55% indicating not to have altered their spending habits, while a considerable 42% admitted to making attempts at saving money.
Making up the 42% of consumers who are trying to cut down on their Christmas spending, 28% said they’re trying to save money where they can while 8% indicated to be waiting for sales. The remaining 6% indicated to be buying less in a bid to offset price increases.
Contrastingly, 1% of the respondents are even going as far as increasing their spending, while 2% haven’t even thought about Christmas shopping.
Chris Reilly, General Manager of My Voucher Codes weighed in on the findings:
“Christmas is an expensive time of year especially for young families, so it makes sense that a large proportion of society are trying to spend less. There are many ways of saving money at this time of year, from buying early to taking advantage of store sales and vouchers.” He added, “Worryingly from the results of the study it still looks like many people will go into debt during the festive period, this obviously isn’t ideal and puts the pressure on in January as they look to pay off their debts. On the other hand it seems like we are starting to see a shift in society as people realise that they don’t have to spend a fortune to have a great Christmas.”
Popular news sources featuring the survey’s results were particularly drawn to how respondents reacted to the question ‘How are you paying for Christmas this year?’ which undoubtedly puts even more perspective on the consumers’ way of thinking around this year’s Christmas spending in light of all the economic uncertainty caused by events such as Brexit.
A healthy 56% indicated to be using their paycheques, while a rather staggering 30% indicated to be using their credit cards. A further 10% are set to use their overdraft facilities, while 3% are resorting to measures such as borrowing from friends and family. 1% will be making use of bank loans.
Panic buying seems to be a vicious cycle though, with 27% of respondents admitting to leaving their Christmas shopping late — 15% of those panic buy only a couple of days prior to Christmas.
All this penny-pinching this Christmas is in a sense forced upon consumers by economic factors which they deem to be of concern, visibly witnessed through the weakening pound and a bit of a hike in food prices and other basic living expenses. The full effects of the Brexit referendum are undoubtedly yet to be felt.