Queen Street Branch

23 November 2017

New survey reveals which UK regions will be splashing the cash this Christmas

A survey by Principality Building Society has revealed that homeowners in Wales will be the biggest Christmas spenders in the UK this year.

The average spend in Wales on presents, turkey and decorations is £558, while the East Midlands will spend the least this year (£416).

In a survey polling 2000 homeowners across England and Wales, Principality discovered other high spending regions include the North East (£553) and London (£546), while families in East Anglia intend to be more frugal this Christmas, spending £420 in total.

One fifth of respondents began saving earlier in the year for this Christmas compared to 2016, with 29% of families in the North East and 30% of Londoners putting their pennies away well in advance. Almost a quarter (24%) of homeowners in England and Wales said they will spend more on Christmas in 2017 compared to last year, rising to 38% of 25-34s. Over six in ten (62%) adults resent the fact that Christmas preparations seem to start earlier every year.

When it comes to actually paying for Christmas luxuries, 60% of home owners have to dip into their savings to cover the cost of Christmas, while more than a quarter (28%) of Christmas shoppers will be using their credit card to cover costs this festive season.

Despite spending an average £498 on Christmas across England and Wales, 75% of those surveyed agreed they had other priorities they would rather spend their money on over having an extravagant Christmas. More than a fifth (22%) would rather invest money into their home, prioritising home improvements and renovations over festive spending, while nearly 40% stated a family holiday was more important to them. Over one fifth (21%) wouldn’t want to prioritise anything else as Christmas is a time to splash out. Homeowners in Wales are most likely (29%) to say this.

Feeling the strain of the financial implications that can come with Christmas, more than a quarter (26%) of people in England and Wales admit they feel under pressure to spend more money than they can afford at Christmas.

A fifth (20%) of adults agree that external events like Brexit have made them less confident about spending money at Christmas, while nearly half (49%) said they will have to shop around supermarkets for the best prices this Christmas due to rising food costs.

Julie-Ann Haines, Chief Customer Officer at Principality Building Society, said:

“While we all want to treat our loved ones over the Christmas period, it’s always worth considering how we manage our spending and putting some cash away each month. Our survey shows that most people dip into their savings or use their plastic cards to cover the costs because they have been spending their money on their homes or holidays. Planning ahead and setting a budget is the key to success, making it easier to cope when the festive season arrives. A savvy way to spread the cost is to cash in on Christmas club accounts, annual savings bonds and loyalty cards, or by shopping around to look for bargains well in advance of the big day.

“It’s great to see our survey shows that many people are shopping around to look for ways of cutting their food bills, as this is one area people often over-spend. Saving up is not always easy with the rising cost of living but people could challenge themselves to save by trying to cut back on small luxuries such as coffees and snacks so they can build up their Christmas fund for next year. It will not only save people money but will also give them peace of mind.”

Published: 23/11/2017

Principality. Where home matters.