Brexit doubts won’t dampen Brits’ festive spirit with Christmas spending set to rise

Brits will brush aside the Brexit blues this Christmas to spend almost £19 billion collectively on gifts and festivities, according to new research.

A survey of more than 2,000 UK adults at the start of October estimated that we’ll each spend £415 on average in the run-up to Chr…

Brits will brush aside the Brexit blues this Christmas to spend almost £19 billion collectively on gifts and festivities, according to new research.

A survey of more than 2,000 UK adults at the start of October estimated that we’ll each spend £415 on average in the run-up to Christmas, 4.5 per cent more than the £397 in 2015.

And it seems that many are willing to go to into debt to make it happen, after it emerged that almost three in ten (29 per cent) will borrow money to fund festivities; a debt they’ll be repaying for the first three months of 2017.

More than a fifth (21 per cent) will use a credit card to buy presents and cover other festive costs, while six per cent will dip into their overdraft.

Almost a quarter (23 per cent) of those surveyed had put aside money throughout the year to pay for the festive season, saving £381 on average, while a fifth have made cutbacks throughout the year.

Lavish Liverpudlians

On a geographical level, people in the north-west of England are expected to splash out on Christmas more than anywhere else, spending a predicted £480 on average and peaking at £520 in Liverpool.

The Welsh and Scottish weren’t far behind, spending £460 and £455 respectively.

London was well down the regional list, placing eighth out of 12 UK regions (£395), while those in Yorkshire and Humber will spend the least this festive season (£354).

Separated by age, 35 to 54-year-olds are set to spend the most this Christmas – £465 on average – followed by the over-55s (£414). Average festive spend dropped to £359 among those aged 18 to 34.

Minimise the financial hangover…

Kevin Pratt, consumer affairs expert at MoneySuperMarket, which commissioned the research, called on Brits to consider how they’ll fund the festive season before they get carried away.

“As we approach Black Friday and the start of the Christmas shopping season, and with spending set to increase this year, we urge people to take some time to plan how they’re going to fund the festivities,” he said.

“By working out the best way to spend, you can end up saving a substantial amount of money and ease any financial hangover in the New Year.”

…with a zero per cent purchase card

Anyone thinking of funding Christmas by using a credit card should consider a zero per cent purchase card, which will allow more time to pay off the balance without racking up interest on the spending.

At time of writing, Virgin Money offers zero per cent on purchases for 30 months, while Sainsbury’s shoppers can enjoy the same but for 28 months and receive bonus Nectar points when spending in store.

Cashback cards are another way to milk more from your Christmas shopping.

American Express’ Platinum Cashback Everyday credit card offers five per cent cashback on up to £100 of purchases in the first three months, as well as three per cent up to £15 on all purchases from Amazon.

By Joe White

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