Eight million Brits expect to borrow money to fund Christmas

Information brought to you by ‘Think Money’

THE RUN up to Christmas is a time of joy, excitement, wonderment and anticipation - at least it is for children.

Many adults find they’re approaching the festive season with a rather less excited feeling and wondering whether they will be able to afford everything.

Many people overspend over the festive period. Pressure to provide the ‘perfect Christmas’ for family and loved ones often involves spending huge amounts on gifts, food, decorations and travel costs.

It’s certainly hard to say no and, with many salaries paid earlier in the month during December, a false sense of financial security can mean even more last-minute purchases that will have to be dealt with in the lean, mean month of January.

Current account providers such as thinkmoney are beginning to put the research in to this worrying time of the year.

Recent research for budgeting account provider thinkmoney has shown some interesting, and worrying, results in terms of how people plan for Christmas.

It seems eight million UK adults (16%) are planning to borrow money in order to pay for the Christmas period. Around 18% borrowed last year and almost half of those haven’t even paid off what they borrowed to make Christmas 2012 special.

The research took into account general costs including food, drink, entertainment, gifts and entertainment.

Last year, the average amount borrowed was £654 and although 28% think they’ll have last year’s Christmas debts sorted in time for the festivities this year, 18% are pretty sure they won’t.

Christmas is the highlight of the year for many people and, as with many financial trends, the older generation are expected to borrow less than the younger.

People aged 35-44 are most likely to borrow cash, followed by 25-34 year-olds and 18-24 year-olds.

It seems that men are less likely than women to borrow for Christmas - but when they do borrow, they borrow nearly twice as much.

“Christmas can be a worrying time for those who struggle to find the money to cover the food, drink, entertaining and presents that are now traditional. Being organised about your finances can make managing a big event like Christmas a lot easier,” advised Ian Williams from thinkmoney, who provided this article.

Budgeting well throughout the year can seriously help people pay for big events like Christmas without being forced to borrow.

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