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Brits to spend £22bn on Christmas

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We are set to splash out £445 per person over the coming festive period.

Research carried out by Moneysupermarket suggests that between us we will spend £1bn more than last year – a 1.8% increase.

Spending will be highest among the 35-54 year old age bracket at £491 per person, compared to £423 for those aged 55+ and £415 for the 18 to 34-year-olds.

People living in the North East are the biggest spenders, averaging £595 per head, followed by those in Wales at £531. Shoppers in the East Midlands are expecting to spend the least averaging at £355 each.

However, 19% expect funding Christmas their festive expenditure to sink them further in debt. In the 18 to 34 age bracket, 25% say they will end the year in more debt, while 21% of 35 – 54 year olds and 12% of over 55s will end up further in the red.

Of those surveyed, only 15% expect their December salary to cover Christmas spend.

Among those planning to spend money this Christmas, 73% expect to spend most of their Christmas budget on presents, with mums and dads planning to part with £132 per child on gifts alone.

The survey also asked parents how they planned to budget for their children’s gifts this Christmas. One in four (24%) said they will set a budget and not exceed it. Just over a third (35%) plan to set a budget but may go over it, while 27% indicated they will not be setting a budget but don’t feel their spending ever gets out of hand. When asked the maximum amount parents would ever consider spending on an individual present for their child, £131 came out as the purchase tipping point.

Clare Francis, financial expert at MoneySupermarket said:

“Christmas shopping is a significant area of expenditure for parents in particular. And with only one pay day left for most people until Christmas, it is important to take steps now to manage your finances in the run up to the big day – and beyond.

“A recent survey of MoneySupermarket visitors found, only 37% will fund Christmas using disposable income this year with an encouraging 34% planning to use their savings. Using a credit or store card was the next most popular option for one in ten.

“A credit card offering interest free purchases could be a good option for those looking for flexibility and an efficient way to spread the cost of Christmas. Leading products such as the Tesco Clubcard Credit Card offer up to 16 months of interest free on purchases. However, anyone taking up this option must ensure they are able to pay off the debt into the New Year.

“A cashback card such as the Barclaycard Cashback Credit Card or the American Express Platinum Cashback Card may also be good options for those looking to be rewarded for their Christmas spend.

“Finally, using vouchers and searching online for the best deals on gifts and other items will also help your money go further.”

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