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Christmas spending set to soar 21%

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Economic confidence appears to be growing, with research suggesting that UK consumers plan to increase their spending over the Christmas period by more than a fifth on average.

British shoppers will fork out an average of £621 on Christmas this year, a rise of 21% on Christmas 2020, according to Moneysupermarket.

The price comparison website attributes the plan increased to easing concern over Covid 19 – but points out that 26% of people say they feel pressure to spend more than they can actually afford over the festive season. Londoners (43%) are most likely to feel tobliged to overspend, followed by those in the South East (32%) and Northern Ireland (28%).

Spending patterns vary regionally, with the Welsh proving the most generous with average intended yuletide outlay coming in at £970, followed by Londoners (£837), Northern Ireland (£819) and those in the North East (£782) and North West (£620).

MoneySuperMarket shares its 12 top tips to help you keep on top of your Christmas spending
With 100 days to go to Christmas, MoneySuperMarket reveals Brits intend to spend 21% more on Christmas than they did last year – but feel nervous about doing so

A third of Brits (33%) plan to cover the cost of Christmasusing their disposable income. This is followed by 28% that will use their savings (down 32% from last year) and 12% that will use their credit card.

More than half of purchases will be made online – 53%, compared to 46% in 2020.

The number of people saying they will spend less for Christmas this year because their financial position has changed since the coronavirus has fallen to over one in ten (11%), down from 16% on 2020. Londoners (20%) were the most likely to say this.

With 100 days to go until Christmas, Moneysupermarket offers the following tips:

1. Set a budget

If you want help budgeting for the big day, check out our free ‘Christmas savings calculator’, as this can help you plan ahead.

2. Squirrel money into savings

If you put £20 away each week for the next 12 weeks, you’d have £240 by Christmas. Double this to £40, and you’d have £480. The best place to stash your festive cash is in an easy-access savings account. While rates aren’t particularly high now, it’s still worth comparing rates to find the best deals.

3. Look out for stocking filler presents in the sales

Consider picking up reduced and discounted items now that would make nice presents.

4. Get clued up on deals and offers

Be the first to hear about deals and offers by signing up to retailer newsletters and following your favourite brands on social media.

5. Take advantage of Black Friday & Cyber Monday sales

Black Friday falls on November 26 and many stores cut prices by as much as 70%. Make a list of everything you want to buy and stick to it as rigorously as possible. This can prevent you from overspending on products you don’t need. There’s also Cyber Monday which falls on Monday 29th November this year.

6. Cash in on unused points

If you have points with different retailers, make use of that unclaimed money. By cashing in on unused loyalty points you can help your Christmas budget stretch that little bit further.

7. Post your cards second class

Get organised and write your Christmas cards early. That way, you can save money by posting them second-class, with stamps costing 65p. You can do this until December 18. After that, you’ll have to use first-class stamps costing 76p. Or make even bigger savings by sending e-cards instead.

8. Plan your food shopping

Plan ahead and look to purchase non-perishable food items earlier in late November and early December to spread Christmas food costs across several weeks.

9. Make your own decorations

This will keep you and the kids entertained – and give your home a festive feel without the big price tag. You could for example, make gingerbread cookie decorations, pick pinecones and hang them on the tree, or spray branches with gold glitter.

10. Buy train tickets in advance

Start planning now as big savings can be made by buying an advance ticket. The cheapest tickets are released 12 weeks ahead, so get organised early to avoid stress and save money. It’s worth looking at sites such as TrainSplit which allow you to compare routes and fares to get the best rates through split ticketing with no booking fees.

11. Get money for switching bank account

If you’ve been with your bank for as long as you can remember, now could be the time to switch to a new provider – as you could get money for making the move. To compare switching incentives on current accounts, head here.

12. Avoid borrowing for Christmas – if there’s no other option, get a 0% card

If you have no choice but to put festive spending on a card, make sure it’s a 0% purchase deal. This will enable you to spread the cost. But be sure to use this type of plastic very carefully, making at least the minimum repayments each month, and aiming to clear the card in the 0% period.

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