Most popular Christmas purchases

There’s no doubt that Christmas is an
expensive time of the year. There are presents and decorations to buy, not to
mention the huge supermarket shop to stock up on food and drink.

Billions of pounds are spent every year
in Britain alone in a quest to enjoy all that the festive season has to offer,
with a large proportion of the money coming from loans and credit cards.

Gifts Are Biggest Christmas Outlay for Most

An Evolution Money Christmas
Infographic reveals the results of a survey of 1,200 people who were asked what
they spend most of their money on at Christmas. Around two-thirds (67 percent)
said that they spent the majority of their festive money on presents, compared
to 22 percent who admitted to spending the most on food and drink. Eight per
cent of those involved in the survey claimed to spend most of their Christmas
cash on travel, while three percent said that it was the decorations that took
up the lion’s share of the yuletide budget.
To get an idea of the scale of the
spending that goes on in the UK each year, just take a look at how much was
spent on just Christmas cards in 2013 — more than £1.37 billion. With figures
like these, it is no surprise that people find themselves relying on credit to
help fund their seasonal spending.

A Seasonal Parenting Dilemma

Parents, in particular, can face a
difficult decision when it comes to choosing how much they are going to spend
and where the money is going to come from to pay for gifts and the rest of the
celebrations. On average, British children will be given £132 worth of gifts
this Christmas, and almost half of all parents (around 47 percent) will feel
under pressure to spend more money than they can actually afford in a bid to
keep their children happy. It seems that guilt and a desire to do the best for
the children can be a major factor in prompting over-spending before and during
the festive season. Certainly, it can be hard to say no to heartfelt written
pleas to Santa and doe-eyed wishes as youngsters see the latest toys advertised
on TV.

Traditions Still Important over Christmas

On top of the gift-buying, many people
also feel obliged to put on a festive feast to mark December 25. Tradition
still rules and most families in Britain will still sit down to a roast turkey
this year, but this meal alone will cost an average of £161 a family — more
than many will normally pay out for a whole week’s worth of food. Then there
are all the other meals over the festive season to take into account, not to
mention the vast array of chocolate, sweets, nuts and nibbles that many people
feel obliged to buy every year. Add to this the cost of special drinks and
alcohol, and most people find themselves with an incredibly hefty shopping
bill. There is no surprise then that one in three adults in the UK admit that
they expect to start the next New Year in debt as a result of their spending
for Christmas.
Yet this knowledge is not enough to stop
the splurge, as two out of five people claim they feel pressurised to spend
more money than they really afford over the Christmas period.

There is also the draw of a bargain in
the Boxing Day sales to take into account as another example of seasonal
spending. Many people will spend more money than they have in the belief that
they will save money in the end, although many are also tempted into buying
items that they didn’t really need just because of the reduced price tags.
Nevertheless, on Boxing Day alone, people in Britain will spend a combined
total of 17 million hours online browsing and shopping for goods.
The Real Cost of Christmas in the UK

This is a collaborative post

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