'Tis the season to be broke: 1 in 5 Brits started planning Christmas in September to spread the cost – and we’ll be paying it off until April next year51 per cent of people are more concerned about the financial impact of Christmas this year than last17 per cent started saving for this Christmas in JanuaryOne in ten started planning the festivities in SeptemberNearly a fifth will need to borrow money to cover Christmas
16:28 GMT, 22 November 2012
Festive fretting: 17 per cent of us will need to borrow money to put tinsel on the tree this year
If you are worried about putting tinsel on the tree and turkey on the table this year you are not alone.
The impact of the recession is threatening to reach Father Christmas this year, with more and more of us worrying about the cost of the festive season causing us to start the preparations earlier than ever.
More than one in ten families (12 per cent) started Christmas planning in September in order to combat the financial impact of the festive season.
A further super-prepared seven per cent of people even started their Christmas shopping in January this year to help spread the costs.
The research, released today by Morrisons, found over half (51 per cent) of people are more concerned about the financial impact of Christmas this year than last.
The average household’s monthly outgoings in December will increase by 164.80 as people spend additional money on festive food, drink, decorations, presents and travel.
In preparation for Christmas, 17 per cent of people started saving in January; however 32 per cent of people are worried they have not saved enough to cover the cost of Christmas this year.
Some people are turning to extreme measures to fund Christmas with 17 per cent claiming they will need to borrow money to help fund their Christmas celebrations. Those that resort to borrowing can expect to spend the next 15 weeks paying off the Christmas bill.
Others are trying to avoid getting into debt by selling items to raise funds (13 per cent) or taking on additional work (11 per cent). A quarter of people (24 per cent) are also planning to buy cheaper food to cut back on costs.
Christmas come early: More than one in ten families started planning in September in order to combat the financial impact of the festive season
Despite this gloomy news people are still finding ways
to reduce the cost and still have a cracking Christmas and no matter how tight the purse strings there are some
things we just refuse to compromise on: top of the list of things Britons won’t sacrifice is presents for our families and the indulgence of a turkey with all the trimmings.
Five things we refuse to cross off our Christmas shopping lists
1. Presents for the family – 66 per cent
2. Christmas dinner – 54 per cent
3. Presents for a partner – 45 per cent
4. Christmas decorations – 42 per cent
5. Presents for pets – 11 per cent
The research also revealed that Christmas isn’t just celebrated on 25 December
Of those surveyed, 45 per cent said that they will sit down to a Christmas lunch two or three times, with 39 per cent of the UK celebrating before the big day and over half (52 per cent) of families continuing to celebrate Christmas well into January.
Whilst this means twice the celebration, it’ll also means twice the cost.
Sarah Willingham, founder of Letssavesomemoney.com commented, ‘Christmas is an expensive time of year but it’s important to plan ahead and prepare to avoid getting into debt.
‘There are still two pay packets left before Christmas, so make sure you cover the cost of Christmas across both.
‘Keeping a record of your spending may sound dull and complicated but it’s a really great way to get control, and keep control, of your finances. Christmas may only be weeks away, but there is still time to be savvy with your shopping, cooking and present buying.’
Top Tips for a cheap Christmas (without missing any of the cheer!)
Buy your Christmas food
early, don’t save it all until the last minute. Don't be led astray
with impulse buying either- stick to a list and buy only what you need.
Those chocolate reindeer are sweet – but do you need them on top of the 3
Make it or bake it! Get creative – hand made cards and gifts show you've put in your time and effort, while home baked goods in decorative wrapping make a perfect (and low cost) gift for colleagues and acquaintances.
Start making the Christmas dinner in early December to spread the cost and the workload. Soup for starters and Christmas pudding ice-cream are made well in advance and frozen. Also frozen turkeys are just as good as fresh ones but so much cheaper
If you’re having a big family Christmas with lots of adult guests, have a 'secret Santa' and tell everyone to bring just one grown-up present, setting a maximum price too
Before you start buying presents for your family, have a clear out and sell some of the toys and games that your children don’t play with anymore. You’ll not only be making some money to pay towards the presents, but clearing some space for them too
Why not buy your friends gift cards for Christmas. Morrisons has a Fuel Saver scheme which gives you 1p off every litre of fuel for a 10 gift card, rising to 6p off if you spend 60
If you go out to work, make a packed lunch every day between now and Christmas. Missing out on those shop-bought sandwiches will save you more than 100 by December 25