Three in 10 UK Consumers Set to Cut Back on Christmas Spending

With the ongoing cost of living crisis, three in 10 (30%) UK consumers are set to rein in their spending this Christmas, according to research from TransUnion, one of the UK’s leading credit reference agencies. 

Of those who plan to cut back, half (50%) will spend less on presents for family. This is followed by reducing spend on gifts for friends (37%) and scaling back on festive food (31%). 

The average spend is expected to be £769, although men are set to splash out more than women, with an additional £122. The survey showed that consumers will use a range of options to finance their festivities, including savings (40%), credit cards (28%) and buy now, pay later (12%). 

“Overall, a scaled back Christmas seems to be on the cards this year, with consumers adapting their spending habits in light of the current economic situation,” said Kelli Fielding, managing director of consumer interactive for TransUnion in the UK. “It’s positive to see the sensible steps being taken, and the average spend suggests that cutting back won’t dampen the festivities, with people simply prioritising the parts of the holiday season that are most important to them.” 

More than a fifth (22%) of consumers will spend less on socialising and the same number have set spending limits on gifts for friends and family. Meanwhile, one in seven (14%) will reduce the number of presents they give. 

Around a tenth (12%) of consumers are taking steps to be savvier when it comes to the cost of Christmas dinner. These include cooking the turkey in more energy efficient ways (12%), asking family to bring a dish (12%), and not making the traditional Christmas roast due to the cost of ingredients (11%). 

Kelli Fielding continues: “Whilst a third of consumers are cutting back this Christmas, others are intending to spend the same or more than last year. Whatever your budget, it’s important to stick to it, by planning ahead, deciding what’s most important and shopping around for the best deals. For those looking to spread the cost with different finance options, it’s important to keep an eye on your credit report and score, to help you monitor and manage your financial standing. And plan ahead with January in mind, so that you’re confident you don’t spend more than you should. Taking a few simple steps to budget properly now can save you from a financial hangover in the New Year.” 

To check your TransUnion credit score and report for free visit Credit Karma, MoneySuperMarket or TotallyMoney 


Unless otherwise stated, all TransUnion research referenced relates to an independent, nationally representative survey of 2,000 UK adults carried out in October 2022.