The cost of Christmas set to be £1,500 - Money Saving - News - Moneyfacts


The cost of Christmas set to be £1,500

The cost of Christmas set to be £1,500

Category: Money Saving

Updated: 25/11/2015
First Published: 25/11/2015

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

How much are you planning to spend this festive season? Well, according to research from American Express, it could tot up to a staggering £1,490, so it's time to see where savings could be made!

Where does all the money go?

The almost-£1,500 total may seem like a sum that you'd never spend in just a few weeks, but breaking down the figures shows that it may not be that far off. The total includes everything from traditional expenditure on gifts (£355) and the big festive food shop (£125), to the cost of hosying a Christmas party (£110) and new clothes for the season (£87), with Christmas jumpers and a new outfit for the office night out often high on the list of priorities.

And what about festive getaways? An increasing number of Brits are enjoying trips to Christmas markets both in the UK and abroad, with the average spend coming in at £226. After you add in the cost of travelling to visit loved ones (£96), Christmas catch ups (£97), the office party (£86), festive entertainment such as pantomimes (£88), new decorations (£56) and even home improvements (£164), you'll soon see how quickly the total can rise – and you may not even be factoring these kinds of costs into your festive budget.

Christmas on a budget

If that sounds like far too much to spend in the next few weeks, fear not – there are ways to cut the cost! In fact, American Express's research found that respondents plan to cut their Christmas shopping bill by 74% by redeeming reward points and cashback that they've saved throughout the year, while 32% will take advantage of retailer offers, 16% will shop at cheaper supermarkets and 13% will agree a price limit with their loved ones.

Here are a few extra tips to help keep your festive spending in check:

  • Do your research. It's tempting to snap up that perfect present as soon as you come across it, but it could pay to take a bit of extra time to shop around online, as you could well find it cheaper elsewhere. In the same vein, make sure to check cashback websites before you complete your purchase, as you could get a bit of money back from something you were going to buy anyway – you'll truly be getting something for nothing!
  • Take advantage of discounts. The nation is in the midst of a Black Friday frenzy, with many retailers already offering great discounts on many of their products – and the bargains could be coming in even faster over the weekend. Again, this is where research comes in so you can take advantage of the best prices available, and make sure to be on the lookout for voucher codes for added benefit.
  • Get creative. Making your own decorations, cards and even gifts can save a small fortune, and the internet can provide you with a wealth of ideas to suit all abilities, from recycling last year's cards into homemade gift tags to collecting pinecones for the Christmas tree. Not only could you cut the cost of your festive spend dramatically, but you'll be adding a personal touch to the festivities, and that can make the whole event feel even more special.
  • Book your travel arrangements early. Whether you're travelling to visit relatives or are heading off on a festive mini-break, booking your travel tickets in advance can save huge amounts of cash – and the earlier you do it, the more you'll save!
  • Make loyalty pay. Many of us build up loyalty points throughout the year by shopping at our favourite retailers, so it's time to put them to good use! From Nectar and Clubcard points for the festive food shop to spending your accumulated Boots points on their 3-for-2 goodies, now's the time to see just how much you could save.
  • Use plastic – but use it wisely. If you need to use a credit card to cover part of the festive spend, look for way to make it work harder for you. A 0% purchase card can be a great choice if you're looking to spread the cost, or alternatively, get something back from your festive spend with a cashback credit card. American Express has calculated that putting the full £1,500 on its Platinum Cashback Everyday Credit Card, which offers 5% cashback for the first three months, could earn shoppers £74 in cashback, and if you make sure to pay off the balance in full when the statement arrives you won't pay interest on it, either!

"Christmas is always an expensive time of year, but tightening the purse strings doesn't have to mean being less generous," commented Darren Williams from "It's all about using your time efficiently, getting smart with online shopping and using the money saving resources available to you for free (like discount codes), and for big presents you need to do your research and compare prices for all different outlets to find the best deal. Don't just panic buy or be hoodwinked by Christmas marketing; take your time and you'll reap the rewards."

What next?

Compare the top credit cards for your festive needs

Check out our voucher section

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.

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