MoneySuperMarket research reveals that even though 40 per cent of Brits have increased their Christmas budget this year, nearly a third (31 per cent) still expect to overspend. Almost half (47 per cent) will simply spend too much, while 39 per cent will be caught out by inflation and the rising cost of presents and food.
When it comes to the emotional strain of financing Christmas, more than one in 10 (11 per cent) are kept up at night worrying about it, and for a further 10 per cent, it’s the first thing they think about when they wake up. Seven per cent admit Christmas finances put a strain on relationships with friends and family, while over a quarter (28 per cent) expect their debt to last beyond March 2019.
To make matters worse, a third will be mirroring their money habits from last Christmas – 36 per cent of Brits carried Christmas debt into 2018, with a quarter (27 per cent) starting the new year with credit card debt. A further one in 10 carried over debt from loans or store cards.
This trend is set to continue into 2019, with nearly a third (29 per cent) already planning to put this year’s Christmas spending on their credit card and a further 10 per cent either extending their overdraft or borrowing money from a friend or family member. The average credit card bill is expected to be £323 which, when added to existing debt, means the average Brit will owe £740 going into 2019.
Londoners will fare the worst, with a post-Christmas average of £955 credit card debt at the start of 2019. Conversely, East Anglians will have the least new year credit card debt with just £390 per person.
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