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One in ten shoppers willing to skip meals to afford Christmas

One in ten shoppers willing to skip meals to afford Christmas
Matt Browning
Written By:
Matt Browning

Christmas shoppers will spend around £800 this year on gifts, food, and decorations and one in ten will skip a meal to fund it all, a building society reveals.

The cost of the festive season will lead to a third of UK adults going into debt, according to data from the Yorkshire Building Society.

For many families, December will be a time of indulgence and excess, but nearly one in ten (8%) will give up day-to-day meals to afford the festive season.

Meanwhile, a third of the 2,000 respondents surveyed said they will be dipping into their savings to pay for everything during December.

Of those who felt they would have to change their lifestyles to fund Christmas this year, nearly a quarter (23%) said they would sacrifice eating out or having takeaways (22%) and one in ten (11%) said they would scrap any hair and beauty appointments.

Households are dealing with Christmas in any way they can this year, with millions relying on buy now pay later deals or simply cutting back on expenditure completely.

As the energy price cap and housing costs rise, this year’s Christmas will come with a financial shock for many – even if it is pushed back to 2024.

Avoid putting everything on plastic

Chris Irwin, director of savings at Yorkshire Building Society, said: “The cost of Christmas, for many, is growing each year. Our Christmas regular saver encouraged people to save money and help spread the cost to avoid unnecessary expenses or worse, debt. For those who don’t save money regularly, starting a regular saver will give shoppers a healthy sum to draw on for Christmas next year without having to rely on credit.

“With an average spend of almost £800, saving £50 a month will help cover the cost next year. It will also show that saving regularly is achievable and if the habit is maintained after Christmas, it will help start to build up a healthy savings pot.”

Irwin added: “We don’t want to tell people how to spend their hard-earned money but covering the cost of Christmas, for many, can be quite daunting and stressful. We recognise that many people need help and advice around financial well-being – now so that they can navigate the coming months – and potentially years – without getting into debt, or, indeed, getting into further debt. That’s why initiatives such as our partnership with Citizens Advice are also here to help”.