Christmas means big credit card debt for 14% families

In the F&C Asset Management survey, a further 17 per cent of parents and grandparents expect to have to fund their Christmas spending through loans or credit card debt.

“There is an undercurrent of cynicism towards Christmas with 16.5 per cent of those surveyed dismissing it as little more than ‘an excuse by companies to get us to buy things’, a response which tellingly outstrips the mere 14.7 per cent who recognise Christmas as ‘an important Christian festival’,” said Jason Hollands, head of communications at F&C Investments.

He said that though it was “understandable” that parents wished to get their offspring presents, he said that they should also consider both the long and short-term debt management implications of Christmas.

With rising costs of bills, taxes and university fees looming as future debts for children, Mr Hollands urged careful thought before spending money on toys with “a limited shelf-life”.

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