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20th Dec 2022

Brits agree to ‘no present pacts’ this Xmas as cost-of-living crisis bites

Jack Peat

There is some serious belt-tightening going on 

Over half of Brits have agreed to a ‘no present pact’ this year with friends and family, in a bid to save cash due to the cost-of-living crisis.

A poll of 2,000 adults found they expect to save around £68 through their pacts this Christmas.

A cautious 59 per cent are trying to rein in their festive spending in a general sense to try and save some money.

And 45 per cent feel a lot of money is wasted on gifts people don’t want or end up using anyway.

A spokesperson for Equifax, which conducted the research, said: “Christmas is the most magical, and cost-intensive, time of the year for many.

“While it is great to let off some steam at the end of the year and splash the cash on things we really enjoy, it’s great to see people thinking about their spending and how to treat their financial resources responsibly.”

The study revealed adults will spend an average of £68 on the perfect gift for their partner, and £88 ensuring their kids are delighted when they rip open the wrapping paper.

Friends get a smaller budget allocation, with £39 ring-fenced for their festive gifts, and £37 is earmarked for colleagues and Secret Santa obligations.

Respondents intend to spend an average of £43 on lights and decorations this Christmas and £49 on travel.

And £72 will also be spent on food over the festive period, though 34 per cent are planning to buy more affordable ingredients for their 2022 Christmas dinner than in previous years.

Of those who are watching their pennies this Christmas, 72 per cent feel the cost-of-living crisis has put pressure on their purse strings.

And 51 per cent are anxious to overspend just in case the economy tanks in 2023.

Buying fewer gifts is the top strategy for cutting costs this Christmas, followed by finding cheaper gifts and having a second-hand or homemade gift exchange.

As for managing the yuletide coffers, 24 per cent have a specific fund set up for Christmas expenses, though 51 per cent let their current account take the hit.

A concerning 25 per cent will lean on their credit card to cover the cost, with 26 per cent taking out credit in the past to foot the festive bill.

And 45 per cent feel pressure to spend more money than they responsibly should at this time of year.

The study, conducted by OnePoll, also surveyed parents in a bid to uncover how their children feel about cutbacks at Christmas.

Of the mums and dads who took part in the research, 52 per cent have discussed, or are planning to discuss, reining in the festive spending this year.

And 85 per cent of the children responded with understanding about the situation.

A spokesperson for Equifax, added: “Our latest study has enlightened us to the responsible spending taking place across the country.

“It’s great to read that 54 per cent of respondents go to the effort of checking their credit score ahead of the Christmas cash-crunch, and that efforts are being made wherever possible to spend wisely – without dampening the magic of the season.”

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