Christmas debt takes borrowers through to Easter

Brits spend more time paying off Christmas than planning for it - Over 9 million people (one in seven) are still paying for Christmas in June - 13 million will exceed their festive budgets

UK, 21st November 2016 – This year the average Brit will spend £923 on festive celebrations, from trees and turkeys to crackers and Christmas puddings, an increase of 15% compared to £800 in 2015[i]. Increased costs and overindulgence during the festive period means we are taking longer to pay for Christmas than plan for it. New research from Experian reveals the average Brit takes three months to pay off their festive debts, taking them through to Easter.

Most people begin planning for Christmas in October. A nation of organisers, it seems we’re better at preparing than tidying up our finances, as the average person only pays back the money they’ve borrowed by March. What’s more, 14% of Brits (9.1m of the population) will still be suffering their Christmas financial hangover in June or later as the cost of Christmas continues to soar.

Over 13.5 million Brits (27%) struggle to stick to their festive budgets and fall into the trap of overspending, although those who regularly check their credit scores tend to be more in control of their Christmas spending.

Males vs. Females The average person spends £403 on presents, buying for an average of 10 people. Men tend to spend more than women at Christmas, spending on average £47 more.  But when it comes to presents, it seems women are more generous, spending around £50 more on gifts and £10 less on treats for themselves. In the fashion stakes, we’re all conscious of our appearance, as men and women spend the same amount on Christmas party outfits.

Women start their preparation more than three weeks before men, but are worse at festive budgeting and 20% more likely to be paying off their Christmas debts six months or more after Christmas Day.

 

Failing to spend smartly

A third (31%) of people will borrow money this Christmas. On average people will put 14% of their Christmas spending on credit cards and 7% on overdrafts. But it seems that as a nation we are not helping ourselves by failing to spend smartly. Despite 20% of people expecting to do Christmas shopping using discounts or sales, most people are failing to get the best value by switching to 0% interest cards for their purchases or checking comparison sites to take advantage of cheaper deals. What’s more, over a quarter of people don’t expect to do any of their Christmas shopping by taking advantage of discounts, cash-back sites or reward cards.

Experian’s free CreditMatcher service helps people find great deals on credit cards that they’re more likely to be accepted for, based on their personal financial situation, taking some of the guesswork out of applying for credit and reducing the chances of refusal.

James Jones from Experian said: “Far from being a nation of Scrooges, our research found that 93% of Brits say they enjoy Christmas, but it’s a day that many of us spend months paying for. We can all avoid considerable stress, both in the run-up to the big day and in the months that follow, by spending and borrowing wisely.

“There are plenty of options for people who want to make Christmas more affordable,” continued James. “People who plan to spread the cost of Christmas using credit should seriously consider exploring better deals on credit cards, such as 0% promotional interest rates and reward cards, using cash-back sites and, of course, searching for the best deals online. However, if you’re spending on credit over the Christmas period, set yourself a strict budget and make sure you can afford to pay back what you borrow. Missing payments in the New Year because you’ve overspent could hurt your credit score, affecting your chances of getting credit you need in the future and making any credit you are offered more expensive.

“Checking your credit score is also a great way of getting a view on your financial health ahead of the Christmas spending spree. Using services like Experian’s CreditMatcher can help you find the best financial deals by showing you the credit products you’re most eligible for. In fact, our research found that those who check their credit scores regularly are more likely to enjoy Christmas.”

Experian polled more than 4,000 people across the UK to examine the true cost of Christmas. Other key findings showed:

 

  • Budget makers & breakers: When it comes to budgeting, those earning between £25,000 and £35,000 are better at keeping their spending under control than those on higher incomes. Residents of Liverpool are the most likely to give in to festive overspending, whilst those in Cardiff are the best at sticking to their festive budgets.

  • Festive frivolities: People spend an average of £122 eating out, £82.67 on nights out, £403 on Christmas presents, £47.97 on children’s entertainment, £53.48 on Christmas trees and decorations, £65.52 on gifts and treats for themselves, £58.79 on outfits for Christmas parties and £58.68 on impulse purchases.

  • Food & Drink: Brits spend on average £19.38 on turkey, £18.45 on cheese, £16.13 on mince pies, £20.78 on vegetables, £14.50 on Christmas cake, £27.36 on wine, £25.29 on spirits, £22.73 on chocolates/biscuits, £19.93 on finger foods/canapés, £18.79 on Christmas crackers/table decorations.

 

Ends

 

Notes to editors:

The poll was conducted by Censuswide across Britain in November 2016 and reached a representative sample of 4,069 UK consumers aged 16 and over.

Media interviews available upon request

 

Contact:

 

Priya Sahib

Mobile: +44 (0) 7816 491152

Email: Priya.Sahib@experian.com

 

Holly Jeffries

Mobile: +44 (0) 7824 504566

Email: holly.jeffries@marlinpr.com

 

[1] In 2015 the Money Advice Trust found that the average cost of Christmas was just over £800 http://www.itv.com/news/wales/2015-12-07/families-expected-to-spend-up-to-800-on-christmas/

 

About Experian

We are the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to our clients around the world. We help businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. We also help people to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft. In 2015, we were named by Forbes magazine as one of the ‘World’s Most Innovative Companies’.

We employ approximately 17,000 people in 37 countries and our corporate headquarters are in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and São Paulo, Brazil.

 

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2016 was US$4.6 billion.

 

To find out more about our company, please visit http://www.experianplc.com or watch our documentary, ‘Inside Experian’.

 

Notes to editors:

The poll was conducted by Censuswide across Britain in November 2016 and reached a representative sample of 4,069 UK consumers aged 16 and over.

Media interviews available upon request

 

Contact:

Priya Sahib

Mobile: +44 (0) 7816 491152

Email: Priya.Sahib@experian.com

 

Holly Jeffries

Mobile: +44 (0) 7824 504566

Email: holly.jeffries@marlinpr.com

[i] In 2015 the Money Advice Trust found that the average cost of Christmas was just over £800 http://www.itv.com/news/wales/2015-12-07/families-expected-to-spend-up-to-800-on-christmas/

 

About Experian

We are the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to our clients around the world. We help businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. We also help people to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft. In 2015, we were named by Forbes magazine as one of the ‘World’s Most Innovative Companies’.

We employ approximately 17,000 people in 37 countries and our corporate headquarters are in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and São Paulo, Brazil.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2016 was US$4.6 billion.

To find out more about our company, please visit http://www.experianplc.com or watch our documentary, ‘Inside Experian’.

 

 

 UK, 24th November 2016 – UK, 24th November 2016 – UK, 24th November 2016 –