blank
Connect with us

Money

One in five Brits will be paying off their Christmas debt at Easter

As we enter the new year and the festivities have come to an end, Brits are recovering from the financial aftermath of Christmas, but how long will it take them to pay off the debt?

Published

on

couple calculating all their bills

Following on from their previous Christmas finance report, credit management company Lowell has conducted further research into the impact the festive season has had on UK household finances between 2021, 2022 and going into 2023.

In 2021, the average British adult spent £548 on presents alone, and with 55% more Brits feeling the pressure to buy extra in 2022, it could be questioned how much debt people have built up going into 2023.

Advertisement

What is the debt aftermath of Christmas?

Almost one in five (17%) Brits said it will take until Easter to pay off their Christmas debt, that’s a third of the year paying back what was spent over the festive period, with a further 21% taking two months to clear their debt.

How long does it take to recover from Christmas spending?
2022
Less than a month15%
1-2 months21%
3-4 months17%
5-6 months7%
7-8 months3%
9-10 months2%
11-12 months1%
Over 12 months2%
I don’t have to recover from Christmas spending33%

Furthermore, 18% of Brits said their debt could have reached at least £600 at Christmas, and one in 10 even claimed that they expected to spend £1,000, and that’s not including any late fees or additional interest accrued on balances carried past the due date.

Whilst credit can provide the flexibility to spread the cost of larger purchases, it must be used responsibly. With spiralling interest rates increasing the cost of borrowing, those unable to pay off the debt in full will be left struggling if an unexpected expense occurs this year.

Advertisement

With the annual percentage rate (APR) on UK credit cards reaching an all-time high this in 2022, it could be easy to be left with even more money worries in 2023.

For example, using just the monthly minimum payment of £30 to pay off £600 in credit card debt (with an average APR of 21.8%, and no further spending on the card) could take over two years to repay, with an interest cost of £135.

What are the main spending pressures people felt at Christmas?

34% of people in the UK anticipated that they bought more than they needed, a 55% increase since 2021. More than a quarter (28%) expected to spend beyond their budget, and 18% felt under pressure to buy more expensive luxury items despite inflating costs.

What were the main pressures faced at Christmas?20222021% change
Buying more than is needed34%22%55%
To overspend on what I can afford28%21%33%
Buying large, expensive items18%14%29%
Buying more premium brands15%13%15%

The impact of social media also added a strain to people’s buying habits, with 15% more Brits overstretching themselves financially to buy premium brands compared to 2021. Plus, one in 10 (10%) admitted to feeling pressure from Facebook, Instagram and TikTok to keep up with new trends.

Whilst Christmas is a wonderful time of year, it can be a financial worry for many, with a quarter (25%) of Brits claiming they had to cut back as much spending as possible due to the cost-of-living crisis. Furthermore, 25% of people were concerned that they wouldn’t be able to heat their homes amid rising energy bills, and 14% put up fewer Christmas lights as a way to keep costs down.

Advertisement

How did Brits fund their Christmas?

In 2022, there was a 47% increase in credit cards being used as the main funding source for Christmas. More than half (51%) dipped into savings, and one in ten (12%) opted for Buy Now Pay Later schemes. Encouragingly, 40% more Brits relied on their disposable income, instead of outsourcing other finances.

Funding Plan20222021% Change
Savings51%39%31%
Disposable income49%35%40%
Credit cards25%17%47%
Buy now pay later12%11%9%

John Pears, UK Managing Director of Lowell UK said: “At Lowell, we understand that with so many financial outgoings Christmas can be an expensive time for many people.

“The cost-of-living crisis is having a huge impact on many households – and we fear this will get worse if people felt under pressure to overspend during the festive period.

“Our report shows an increase in the number of people that intended to use credit to fund Christmas. This can cause an increase in household debt that can become difficult to manage.

“We’d like to remind anyone feeling financial pressure to reach out for support.”

Advertisement
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2023 Swansea Bay News