Shoppers are planning to spend an average of £488 on Christmas this year, 7% down on 2012's figure of £526, according to research from HSBC.
The HSBC Christmas Spending Survey 2013, based on a representative sample of 2,042 UK consumers, found that people are planning to spend an average of £336 on presents and £152 on food, drink and entertainment, and although it seems that the purse strings are tightening only 15% of shoppers manage to stick to a budget.
People are looking for ways to make savings though, with almost half of those surveyed planning on using retailer loyalty points or discount vouchers. The majority (two thirds) plan to shop around to snap up the best bargains, but another popular way to save some cash is to not send out as many Christmas cards, with 23% of respondents planning on sending out less than last year.
Financing Christmas will always be a key concern for many people, and although 70% of respondents will use their salary to fund their festive spend a further 22% will borrow money, up from 17% in 2012.
The figures suggest that people are still feeling the pinch despite the somewhat brighter economic outlook, and the high street could feel the effects – 66% of people are planning to shop online, 11% more than will shop on the high street, a gap which has widened by 3% since last year.
Colin Tancock, head of current accounts at HSBC, commented on the findings:
"While economic and consumer confidence is returning, these findings show that Britons are planning to focus more on how much they are spending this Christmas. The majority are planning to try and save money [which] suggests people are still feeling the pinch.
"Setting a budget, sticking to it and regularly checking current account balances are good ways for people to keep on top of their finances. For people seeking to borrow or use their credit card or overdraft, they must be clear on how much they can afford to borrow and when they can pay it back, so the only thing they have to worry about is having a good time."
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