Nearly a third of UK families concerned about this cost of Christmas

  • Many households with children are feeling the strain with nearly a third (31%) reporting worries about making ends meet this year

  • Overall one in five (22%) UK households said they were worried about how they will afford the costs associated with Christmas

  • Households in London and the North-East are most concerned while households in Yorkshire are least worried

  • On average 13% of UK households are already spending more than their income on essentials

Nearly a third (31%) of UK families with children are worried about how they are going to pay for the costs associated with Christmas this year, according to savings and ISA provider Scottish Friendly. Overall one in five (22%) of UK households have reported concerns with a sizeable number in London (29%) and the North-East (29%) counting the cost more closely than their least worried counterparts in Yorkshire (15%).

The findings come as part of Scottish Friendly’s latest Disposable Income Index, compiled in conjunction with the Social Market Foundation, which revealed that the median household has £990 per month left to spend or save after essentials like housing, energy, water, groceries, transport, childcare and broadband internet are paid for.

Overall disposable income has remained relatively flat in the last quarter, while consumers cite further concerns about the corrosive impact rising inflation will have on the pound in their pocket as we move into 2017. Over half (55%) of households are worried about increasing food costs and more than four in ten (45%) are anxious about petrol prices.

 

 

Proportion worried about the cost of Christmas

AGE GROUP

18-24

26.1%

25-34

34.7%

35-44

24.5%

45-54

20.3%

55+

15.0%

CHILDREN IN HOUSEHOLD

Yes

30.6%

No

18.1%

UK MEDIAN

 

22.3%

Source: SMF analysis, 3Gem

Calum Bennie, savings expert at Scottish Friendly, said:

“Christmas is all about giving and people understandably want to spend money on the people they care about. However, there is a hidden side to the celebrations. The stress caused by festive financial anxiety shouldn’t be underplayed and many households have to work hard to make sure they don’t over stretch and leave themselves in debt when the celebrations end and the new year rolls around.”  

Bennie continues:

“Our index reveals that the median household has £990 per month left to spend or save after essentials like housing, energy, water, groceries, transport, childcare and broadband internet are paid for. With data from the Money Advice Trust's National Debtline revealing that the average British family spends around £8001 on Christmas that doesn’t leave a huge amount of wiggle room especially as 13% of our respondents are already spending more than their income on essential costs.”

Bennie concludes:

“Shopping around for food and taking advantage of promotional deals with retailers can be savvy ways to reduce the cost of Christmas. And selling off stuff you no longer need on online auction sites could help bring in much-needed cash for this time of year. For future years it's also important to get into the discipline of saving even small amounts of money every month. Saving over the course of the year is the most effective way to combat Christmas cash concerns when the festive period kicks off.”

Data appendix:

 


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