Brits Try To Save Money As They Buy Christmas Presents

Published: 18 October 2011 By Julian Stone Leave a Comment

With inflation hitting hard and many struggling with their finances it’s perhaps no surprise that this year Brits will be looking to save money as they buy Christmas presents, using discount vouchers and retailer reward points where they can.

Saving Money On Christmas PresentsWhilst almost half of Brits are not planning to cut back on Christmas gifts this year, according to the HSBC Christmas Spending Survey, some 22% of people say they will spend less this year compared to last.

Across the UK people will spend on average £378 on gifts for their immediate family, and an additional £183 on food, drink and entertainment this festive season.

Among people who plan to spend money on presents for their immediate family, 78% will try and save cash by one means or another to get the best value for their money.

Nearly 40% will use discount vouchers and over 30% will be cashing in their retailer reward points. Others will be more selective and drop some people off their present list this year in order to save money.

Almost 10% will give homemade presents, 8% will recycle presents given to them in previous years and another 6% will even give second-hand items as presents.

Paying for Christmas presents

Whist 67% of people will fund their Christmas present shopping, others will have to turn to savings or borrow money.

For those who need to borrow money, credit and store cards will be especially popular with those aged 35-44  and using an overdraft facility will be more common among those aged 18-24. This younger age group will also turn to personal loans and payday loans, as well as seek to borrow from family and friends.

High Street or Online Shopping?

There seems to be a split down the middle with British consumers turning as much to the high street as to online shopping when it comes to Christmas shopping for presents this year. That said, 13% of people will only use online sources for presents and exactly this same percentage will only use offline outlets.

Interestingly car boot sales are seen by many as a good source of presents.

When to do the Christmas buying?

Amazingly some 6% have already done the majority of their Christmas shopping. For most though early December will be the busy period, albeit some 3% will leave it until the week before Christmas.

MoneyHighStreet comments: “Clearly whilst families are struggling with their day to day finance, tackling energy price rises and now the highest level inflation since September 2008, Christmas is not going to be dampened for many. That said, looking to save money as you buy Christmas presents is of course very sensible.

Using discount vouchers and the like will no doubt be popular.

Turning to borrow money to finance your gift buying and partying though needs to be done carefully. Using a credit card may seem attractive, particularly if you have a 0% purchases deal for a time, however, your balance will need to be paid off. Make sure you can do this without risking falling into debt.

Shopping online can be very easy – you might find our article on ‘5 Top Ways to Shop Online Safely‘ useful.

Finally whenever you do buy your Christmas presents, make sure your home insurance coverage limits are adequate and that you aren’t underinsured with all the expensive gadgets etc in the house. Most policies will automatically increase their coverage limit for Christmas but there are some that don’t. Check the position on yours and increase the limit if need be.

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