British parents dreaming of a low-cost Christmas

British parents dreaming of a low-cost Christmas

British parents dreaming of a low-cost Christmas

The FINANCIAL -- New research launched on December 6 shows that parents will be dreaming of a low-cost Christmas, with 2017 set to be an expensive Christmas for present buying. 

Parents are expected to fork out an average of £128.80 per child on presents during the festive season according to Barclays – raising the total amount British parents will spend on Christmas presents this year to a projected £141.7m across the nation.

The research of 1,000 British parents showed that the burden could in part be driven by poor financial planning, with a third (29%) admitting to leaving their Christmas shopping to the last minute. And although a third sensibly start saving for Christmas between July and September, a shocking fifth (20%) claim not to save money at all.

Revealing the pressure that parents are under at Christmas, one in three admit to dipping into their savings and overdrafts in order to finance presents, with a fifth admitting it is a big financial burden.

But the total cost may reach even greater heights according to the research, with respondents admitting they’d be happy to spend up to 30% more on sold out gifts their children wanted through reseller sites. Even more extreme, one in 10 parents said they would be prepared to spend as much as 80% more on RRP.

Bad for your financial elf:

Revealing the pressure that parents are under at Christmas, one in three admit to dipping into their savings and overdrafts in order to finance presents, with a fifth admitting it is a big financial burden.

Showing just how pressuring many find the festive seasons, two-fifths of respondents (46%) admitted to adopting extreme measures to cut back on spending after Christmas, including skipping meals, saying no to school trips and cancelling holidays.

Clare Francis, Savings and Investments Director at Barclays, said: “Christmas is a magical time of the year for children and parents understandably want to make it as memorable as possible. However, spending more than you can afford can lead to serious problems down the line, and it’s something we – as a nation – need to get out of the habit of.

Too many of us are being moved into action by social pressures to spend huge sums of money on Christmas presents. If that sounds like you, decide to do it differently next year. Set a budget in January using something like Barclays Finance Manager to set up savings goals which can help you start contributing monthly instalments to a set pot of money and stick to your limit. If you have money to spare, then think of how you can make use of it – such as putting it into a Cash or Investment ISA, and extend the good times to later in life as well.”

Barclays Finance Manager is an online tool which can help people set savings goals and take a long-term view, and plan ahead for the financial impact of life’s ups and downs.

Barclays also offers a number of other tools that customers can use to help avoid the temptation to overspend. For example, the new ‘Your Cards’ feature on Barclays Mobile Banking allows people to set their own ATM withdrawal limits, and to switch off the ability to shop online.