British Spending Habits at Christmas
Studies show that even though Brits will plan to set a budget for Christmas spending this year, the majority of people will overspend. Statistics show that an increasing number of people shop for their Christmas presents online with the soaring popularity of online marketplaces such as Amazon. A recent survey conducted by Voucherbox shows that Brits spent an astonishing £262,845,513 on Christmas jumpers alone last year. This figure is more surprising considering that over half of respondents already own a Christmas jumper. The Northern Irish are the most likely to buy their first jumper this year, whilst jumper fanatics in the North West are most likely to buy a new jumper to add to their collections.
The survey also forecasts that Brits are set to spend £17.2 Billion on presents in 2016, which is more than the GDP of Iceland.
It turns out that English people spend a huge amount on Christmas presents each year compared to people celebrating in other countries. The average Brit spends a whopping £420 on presents each Christmas. This beats the Americans, who spend an average of £300 a year on presents. This is somewhat surprising given the perhaps unfair materialistic stereotype that some people have about our cousins from across the pond. Although, to be fair, when average earnings are taken into consideration our spending evens out, as citizens of both countries spend an average of 15% of their earnings on gifts each year.
Romania topped the list of most generous countries when it comes to gift-giving, spending an average of £87 on presents each year. Although this is significantly less that the UK, average earnings have to be taken into account. Romanians spend a hefty 32% of their paycheck on presents, making the UK seem either scrooge-like or frugal - depending on how you look at it. The Dutch came in at the bottom of the list, spending a measly £33 on presents each year. This makes up only 1% of their average salary. Either Dutch people don't place much emphasis on material objects, or a lot of Dutch children will be getting coal in their stockings this year.
According to the aforementioned surveys, however, it's not only gifts that the British are forking out over. 46% of people spend between £200 and £300 on other Christmas gear including food, drink, decoration, and clothes. No wonder British people are having to take out loans to cover their Christmas spending: surveys show that 15% of Brits have had to resort to taking out loans to pay for their Christmas expenses.
Christmas is a time for generosity and giving, and a good present is always appreciated. However, it's wise to keep a handle on your spending if you think that you're going to be racking up a credit card bill. To avoid overspending, try to set a budget and resolve to sticking to it. It might even be worth speaking to family and friends and agreeing on a budget in between you.