British consumers expect to spend £500 on gifts, socialising and entertaining this Christmas, down from £502 a year ago. This year, men are emerging as the festive season’s big spenders, splashing out around 10% more than women. This seasonal indulgence will be funded by a combination of income, savings and debt.

The findings are part of our ongoing Tackling the Savings Gap campaign, which was launched in 2013 to examine the UK’s spending and savings habits. The figures also show that 33% of consumers have set themselves a limit of £250 this Christmas, while over 14% intend to spend more than £1,000 over the festive season.

Britons have been putting money aside in the build up to Christmas, having made an average savings contribution just shy of £2,000 over the last three months. The level of personal debt has also remained largely unchanged, with over 64% reporting no additional debt being taken on in the same period.

Our research also shows that there are large regional differences when it comes to the Christmas budget. Shoppers in Northern Ireland are the biggest Christmas spenders, paying out 64% more than those in the East Midlands, who intend to spend the least.

Managing Partner, David Harrison commented, “The UK has enjoyed low inflation for several months which has kept prices down and given consumers more breathing space. Despite this, our research shows that people are not planning to overspend or max out their credit cards and will spend largely in line with 12 months ago.

“This year has seen growth in the wider economy and unemployment come down. The restraint that consumers are showing may point to underlying low levels of confidence. While the news may not be welcomed on the high street, it should mean that people do not start 2016 with some hefty bills in the post.”

Read the full report >

For archive reports, visit our ‘Tackling the Savings Gap’ page >

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