Britons plan to spend more but budget better after Christmas

Britons are planning to spend far more this Christmas than in 2005 but are becoming more savvy with their festive finances, according to figures released by credit reference agency Callcredit.

The number of people expecting to spend over a thousand pounds has doubled from one in twenty a year ago to one in ten this year. And only four in ten people surveyed expect to spend less than £500, compared to almost six in ten last year.

Despite this spending increase the vast majority will use savings or their regular income to fund the festive season. Only one person in ten is planning on using credit, and of those four out of ten will cover less than 25 per cent of their Christmas costs in this way.

Callcredit director Mel Mitchley said:

"This is a big increase on last year when the equivalent figure was three in ten and means people are spending less on credit than last year.

What's more, people are predicting they'll pay off their Christmas debt sooner than in 2005. This year 81 per cent of people think their festive credit spending will be history by March, compared to 67 per cent in 2005."

Ms Mitchley added:

"Generally the picture is looking pretty positive - people are spending more but budgeting better. Instead of using credit to get them through the festive season they're using the hard-earned cash they have in their pocket.

One slight concern is that the number of people who have no idea how they'll fund Christmas has doubled from two to four per cent.

Key findings:
  • Women expect to spend more on Christmas than men with 42 per cent predicting they'll spend over £500, compared to 37 per cent of men.
  • When men do spend on credit they are likely to spend more than women with over half planning to put between 26 and 50 per cent of Christmas on credit, with only just over a quarter of women planning on spending this much.
  • Men are more confident in paying back their debt than women with 88 per cent of men predicting they will have paid back their debt by March, compared to just 77 per cent of women.
  • Women have reduced the amount they spend on credit since 2005. Last year almost half of women who planned to use credit predicted funding between 26 and 50 per of Christmas this way. This year only a quarter plan on using credit this heavily.
  • 45 to 54 year olds are the biggest users of credit at Christmas with 16 per cent planning on putting it on the plastic. This compares to just 6 per cent of 16-24 year olds, the lowest percentage of any age group.
  • Of the 16-24 year olds who do use credit two thirds think they'll have paid off their Christmas debt within a month. Less than one in five 25-34 year olds think they'll pay off their debts this quickly.
  • One in five 35-44 year olds plan on spending over £1000 on Christmas, twice the average for all age groups.
  • Almost a quarter of the over 65s have no idea how they'll fund Christmas.