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The festive season has well and truly come to an end, and now that everyone is getting back into their daily routines, the January Blues have taken over. This has no doubt been partly brought on by excess spending over the Christmas period, which could be seriously taking its toll on the nation's finances – and considering the extent to which people overspent, it's no wonder they're feeling on the blue side this month.
Research from Santander shows that the average Brit overspent by £78 over the festive season – and that's just on presents –which adds up to a collective £3.8 billion across the country. Perhaps unsurprisingly, 38% of those surveyed plan to make cutbacks this month in order to save money after all that splurging, with 20% vowing to spend less on going out, and 18% planning to spend less on food and drink.
Some (6%) will even be forced to spend less on birthday presents for family and friends, while 5% will try to spend less on transport (such as by walking to work or taking the bus instead of driving), and 4% will even cancel their gym membership, going against the January tradition of signing up.
"Despite our best intentions, we still manage to overspend by a significant amount during the festive period each year," said Matt Hall, head of Banking and Unsecured Credit at Santander. "At a time when finances are tight and many household budgets are being squeezed, many people will want to take steps to make the most of their money this January.
"There are many ways to make the holiday financial worries a little easier. For example, credit card users could choose to spend on a cashback card to get some money back, or those who have overspent and need to get their finances back on track could look at switching to a balance transfer card with a 0% deal. This could go some way to alleviating any festive spending hangovers."
Many are hoping to avoid a repeat performance next year by cutting back on festive spending in 2017 (21%), yet 55% are already expecting to spend the same amount, and 5% even think they'll increase it. If that's your plan, it may be worth starting to think about how you'll pay for it all – it's never too early to start planning, and if you regularly put money aside in an easy access savings account (or perhaps a notice or regular savings version), you could have a nice little pot that'll mean you're not forced to go frugal this time next year.
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