’Tis the season to be frugal

One in four plans to cut Christmas spending by more than half compared to 2007.

Independent research released today by credit reference agency Callcredit has revealed that 55pc of the UK adult population are planning on reducing their spending this Christmas, with 27pc of people cutting costs by more than half compared to last year.

Key statistics

• More than one in four people (27pc) plan to cut their Christmas budget by 50pc or more, compared to last Christmas
• 55pc of the UK adult population are planning on reducing their Christmas spending this year
• 60pc of 25-34 year olds are planning on spending less this Christmas, compared to just 47pc of 18-24 year olds
• Women are more concerned about Christmas finances this year than men, with 61pc reducing their spending compared to 48pc of men

In last week's Pre-Budget Report, Alistair Darling cut VAT to 15% in an attempt to drag Britain out of recession, boost Christmas spending and bring relief to millions of families across the UK. 55pc of the UK adult population will still look to cut back on their spending over the festive period.

Consumers up and down the country are being more careful about what they spend this Christmas, but it's the 25-34 year olds who are planning on being the most conscientious. 60pc of this age group are going to reduce their spending habits, with 30pc of them cutting costs by more than half.

And it's the 18-24 year olds who are least worried about the current economic landscape with less than half (47pc) cutting festive costs and 11pc planning to spend more this Christmas than last.

Owen Roberts, Head of Callcredit Check, comments, "Despite the recession and recent financial turmoil, Christmas 2008 should still be as fun and enjoyable as possible. Spending less does not necessarily mean a bleak Christmas, but instead friends and family can enjoy homemade presents for example and fewer consumers will be left with a financial hangover in the New Year.

"Today's economic climate is a worry for everyone so awareness and a healthy understanding of your own situation are essential. Whatever the age, consumers should take their personal finances seriously. Getting a copy of your credit report is an excellent first step for obtaining a financial overview and we have been encouraged to see a 50% increase in subscriptions to our own online credit report service in the last few months."

Christmas top tips from Callcredit:

Do's and Don't this Christmas
Don't waste your money unnecessarily Do get crafty and make your own Christmas cards/presents
Don't overspend on seemingly 'bargain' special offers Do check whether goods are returnable or refundable when bought in the sale
Don't forget to shop around Do use price comparison sites and shop around online for the best deals
Don't panic buy on credit in the run up to Christmas Do check your credit report online for a simple assessment of your credit rating - www.callcreditcheck.com
Don't bury your head in the sand and get yourself into debt If you are worried about your financial situation, Do seek advice from a professional organisation such as the Citizens Advice Bureau or Consumer Credit Counselling Service


Research information

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2037 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken in November 2008. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

About Callcredit

• Callcredit (www.callcredit.co.uk) is the UK's most innovative, state-of-the art credit reference agency, with an extensive range of information and value added services for businesses and individuals.
• Callcredit Check provides consumers with online access to the details of their credit file at www.callcreditcheck.com
• Callcredit has harnessed state-of-the-art information technology with an unrivalled knowledge of the industry's needs to develop a range of innovative information solutions. Solutions that are enabling major lenders and a host of other blue chip companies to address regulatory requirements, make better credit decisions, target new customers more effectively and manage existing customers more profitably.
• Callcredit is one of six core businesses that form the Callcredit Information Group. The other five are:
• Database management company EuroDirect
Market analysis firm GMAP Consulting
• Online payment service provider, Legatio
• Scorecard development and affordability assessment specialist DecisionMetrics
• Marketing services and database specialist, Broadsystem