According to the supermarket bank, 18 per cent of this went on credit card debt, which will soon accrue interest unless debt management steps are taken.
Donald MacLeod, credit card manager at Sainsbury’s Bank, said: “Our research suggests that it could be a busy time for the shops on Christmas Eve and that a lot of people will be using their credit cards.”
He suggested that as a form of debt management, people should look at transferring their credit card debt to avoid high repayments.
Debt advice can also help people cope with their yuletide spending in 2007, particularly as loan interest rates and bills are expected to increase in January, adding to repayment worries.
Experts have warned that many people paid more for gifts by leaving their shopping to the last minute, and Sainsbury’s Bank claims that 4.48 million people did this, with those in the Midlands worst for late purchasing.