How much do people spend on Christmas?

A recent report on a BBC broadcast stated UK Christmas holiday shoppers spent nearly £600,000 during the 2012 Christmas season. A follow up report in 2013 found the amount spent for the holidays increased by almost 48%. This includes not only gift items, but other paraphernalia associated with Christmas holiday traditions including decorations, food and possibly holiday travel. According to a quick analysis infographic by, the cost of Christmas spending is set to rise to an astonishing £13.4bn, which is projected to be spent with online vendors.

With a recession hitting hard across the UK, one might wonder what are people buying and how are they able to afford it? Holiday spending predictions from last year were posted online by The breakdown for holiday spending is as follows: food and drink, £152; holiday socializing, £67; and according to a spending intentions survey by YouGov, the cost for gift giving is anticipated to be around £600. This was based on individual consumer spending. Imagine the effect if the stated amounts were applied to an average family of 4.

xmas shopping

When it comes to financing the Christmas season purchases, it seems most people are willing to do whatever they must in order to provide their vision of happy tidings to their loved ones. Practical consumers will take advantages of discount stores and sales offered throughout the year. By the time Christmas Eve has arrived, these type of shoppers will already have had their holiday purchasing completed, and not be up to their eyeballs in debt. Other shoppers will resort to the ever present credit card. Ever mindful of climbing interest rates, shoppers will often max out their credit cards in order to buy everything for their holiday needs. As a last resort, some shoppers will take out a holiday realistic loans to cover the cost of the Christmas season.

The Centre for Retail Research published estimated consumer buying trends for the 2014 holiday season. It stated some £45bn will be spent on consumer goods, with only 18% of that total on items such as food or drink purchases. Most of that estimated total will account for online purchases. Although there are a lot of durable goods purchased, such as music, computers and clothing, almost 10% of 2014 purchases will be for technology items such as upgraded Smart phones, tablets or other mobile devices.

xmas dinner

More frugal consumers with families are taking a second look at what they are spending. Instead of focusing on what each gift recipient desires, consumers are more concerned with affordability. These budget minded buyers are not concerned with being labelled the next Scrooge. They are more concerned with setting a specific budget and finding creative gifts that fit in their spending plan. With the high cost of fuel, food, rent/mortgage and general daily living, a budget of £200 for the whole holiday season is manageable. Though it may seem to be an extreme budget, it is perhaps a more realistic one that the average consumer would be wise to adopt.


This article was provided by Green Tank Blog.

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