It may seem like we're barely getting a foothold on summer yet, but many Brits are seriously planning ahead, with research from American Express showing that one in seven (14%) have already started their Christmas shopping – and they've spent an average of £1,689 each in the process!
Perhaps surprisingly, the majority of this (£587) has gone on buying festive food and drink – we can only hope that they've checked the sell-by dates – while another £248 has been spent on pre-booking festive getaways outside the UK, such as to Christmas markets or Lapland.
A further £208 has been spent on Christmas decorations, £201 on festive experiences (such as pantomime tickets), £160 on travel tickets and £152 on festive getaways in the UK, while spending on gifts is squarely at the bottom of the list, with only £133 spent on presents so far this year.
It may seem early to begin thinking about the festive season, but it could make a lot of sense, particularly when you consider how expensive all those festive goodies can be. Jenny Cheung, Director at American Express, explains: "Many Britons are taking a shrewd approach to festive shopping by starting earlier, and therefore spreading the cost of Christmas over a longer time period.
"If you're a festive early bird and have started your Christmas shopping, putting your spend on a reward or cashback card now will allow you to get something back on your spending so you can treat yourself or your loved ones once the festive season truly begins."
If you're an early bird – or trying to be – you'll want to make your money go as far as possible. Happily, American Express has come up with a few top tips to help:
If you don't yet have a savings account for your festive funds, now's the time to get one. Compare the best savings account rates to get started and see what's on offer.
Take a look at cashback credit cards and see if you can get something for nothing.
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 Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.