Nearly a third of UK adults are worried about the cost of Christmas as Covid-19 forces change in spending habits

POSTED: 2nd December 2020
IN: Newsroom
  • Nearly a third (28%) of UK adults are worried about the cost of Christmas this year, with one in five (21%) admitting it takes months into the New Year to pay off all the costs of Christmas
  • A quarter (26%) say this year they will be forced to dip into their savings, as over a third (34%) say they will need to re-evaluate Christmas spend due to Covid-19
  • Two thirds (67%) say Christmas is expensive, with Brits spending on average £515 during the 2019 holiday season
  • Over half of Brits (56%) are planning a more subdued Christmas this year, with a third (37%) expecting to spend less and only 8% saying they plan to spend more

With further uncertainty from Covid-19 and another period of lockdown, Christmas is unlikely to be the same this year impacting people’s spending plans for the festive period. Nearly a third (28%) of UK adults are worried about the cost of Christmas and a quarter (26%) will be forced to dip into their savings to afford Christmas presents, according to a new survey of 2,000 UK adults from Aldermore Bank1

Covid-19 condenses Christmas

In 2019, UK adults that celebrated Christmas spent £515 on average during the period, with one in ten (9%) spending over £1,000. As a result, and unsurprisingly, two-thirds (67%) believe Christmas is expensive. It appears the Covid-19 outbreak will have a big impact this year, with a third (34%) saying the pandemic has made them re-evaluate how much they plan to spend during the holiday season. As a result, over a third (37%) expect to spend less this year, by an average reduction of £232. Only less than one in 10 (8%) plan to spend more than last year.

Cutting back on celebrations

Those who plan to spend less will cut back expenditure in specific areas. Nearly half (45%) will buy fewer presents and a further 37% plan to spend less on Christmas food shopping. Other ways that people plan to save money include setting a budget to spend on presents and spending less on decorations (22%).

Some are being thrifty with how they will source presents, with one in 10 (11%) planning to buy them in sales such as Black Friday and a small number (7%) will make their gifts from scratch this year.

Ewan Edwards, director of savings at Aldermore, said:

“With a second national lockdown and continued uncertainty from Covid-19, it is understandable that some are not feeling in a celebratory mood for the upcoming holiday season. Christmas is an expensive time of the year, and for some it can be financially stressful, as our research has found, people are increasingly concerned about costs and are actively looking to cut back. 

“For those worried about Christmas costs this year, it is worthwhile laying out a budget and anticipating costs for each aspect of the festive period, such as food, decorations, and presents, and see where the pain points might be so they can be better managed ahead of time. Through life, there will always be periods of higher costs and greater spending, for holidays, parties, or buying homes or cars, so getting into a regular savings routine to build up a financial buffer can relieve the stress and bring more financial security when these times come.”


Notes to editors:

1Research conducted by Opinium in October 2020, with a nationally representative sample size of 2,000 UK adults.

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