New research reveals that more than one in ten families (12 per cent) started Christmas planning in September in order to combat the financial impact of the festive season. A further seven per cent of people even started their Christmas shopping in January this year, to help spread the costs.
The research by Morrisons, found over half (51 per cent) of people are more concerned about the financial impact of Christmas this year than last. In total, the average household’s monthly outgoings in December will increase by £164.80 as people spend additional money on festive food, drink, decorations, presents and travel.
In preparation for Christmas, 17 per cent of people started saving in January; however 32 per cent of people are worried they have not saved enough to cover the cost of Christmas this year.
"Christmas is an expensive time of year but it’s important to plan ahead and prepare to avoid getting into debt. There are still two pay packets left before Christmas, so make sure you cover....
Some people are turning to extreme measures to fund Christmas with 17 per cent claiming they will need to borrow money to help fund their Christmas celebrations. Those that resort to borrowing can expect to spend the next 15 weeks paying off the Christmas bill.
Others are trying to avoid getting into debt by selling items to raise funds (13 per cent) or taking on additional work (11 per cent). A quarter of people (24 per cent) are also planning to buy cheaper food to cut back on costs.
Morrisons Marketing Director, Nick Collard, said: “We recognise that families are tightening their belts this year and many have spent the last few months planning the family celebrations. We’re committed to helping families this Christmas, whatever their budget, which is why we’re offering a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings for eight people at £2.49 per head. With the savings made on Christmas dinner we hope that families will be able to enjoy all the festivities of the season.”
The research revealed that Christmas isn’t just celebrated on 25 December. Of those surveyed, 45 per cent said that they will sit down to a Christmas lunch two or three times, with 39 per cent of the UK celebrating before the big day and over half (52 per cent) of families continuing to celebrate Christmas well into January. Whilst this means twice the celebration, it’ll also mean twice the cost.
Sarah Willingham, founder of Letssavesomemoney.com said: “Christmas is an expensive time of year but it’s important to plan ahead and prepare to avoid getting into debt. There are still two pay packets left before Christmas, so make sure you cover the cost of Christmas across both.
"Keeping a record of your spending may sound dull and complicated but it’s a really great way to get control, and keep control, of your finances. Christmas may only be weeks away, but there is still time to be savvy with your shopping, cooking and present buying.”
Top five things Brits won’t cross off their Christmas shopping lists:
1. Presents for the family – 66 per cent
2. Christmas dinner – 54 per cent
3. Presents for a partner – 45 per cent
4. Christmas decorations – 42 per cent
5. Presents for pets – 11 per cent
For expert tips on how to cope this Christmas, click here
Is Christmas 2012 going to be financially tough for you? What are you doing to save on Christmas spending? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us @FemaleFirst_UK