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The UK’s Christmas shopping habits revealed

The UK’s Christmas shopping habits revealed

Category: Money

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 It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

The Christmas shopping season is in full swing, but while some are still frantically scouring the shelves, others are smugly revelling in the fact that they've already ticked everyone off the Christmas list – and some haven't even started yet. Research from Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks has uncovered the festive shopping habits of UK consumers, and it looks as though many people fall into the "panic buying" category…

The figures show that last-minute buyers are rife across the UK, with 14% of respondents admitting that they wait until Christmas Eve to get the big festive shop started. London has the biggest proportion of panic buyers (20%), closely followed by Yorkshire (19%), while the South West appears to be the most organised, with just 9% confessing that they shop on December 24th.

Happily, a far greater proportion of shoppers are more organised when it comes to such matters, with 34% of those surveyed starting their festive shopping well in advance. Many turn online to shop and avoid the hassle of the high street (8%), while 5% leave it to their partners, and 11% are true bargain hunters and welcomed the Black Friday sales to help keep costs down.

Not everyone succeeds, however, with 4% admitting that they're typical over-spenders when it comes to the big Christmas shop. However, at the other end of the scale, some are going to real extremes to cut costs, with 10% having decided not to spend anything at all on Christmas this year.

Make the most of the season – whatever your shopping style may be

  • Be even more organised (and spending savvy) with a 0% purchase credit card. Unless you were truly prepared and managed to save the full amount required, chances are that you'll need to use credit to cover at least part of your festive spend, but a 0% interest card can make it work far better for you. This will allow you to spread the cost of Christmas without interest ramping up the bill, which should ensure you have less of a financial hangover in the New Year.
  • The sales-shopper should never be without their trusty voucher codes. Finding a bargain in a sale is all well and good, but what if you could enjoy those kinds of discounts at all times? That's where voucher codes can come in, and if you arm yourself with plenty of different options before you hit the shops, you could significantly cut your final bill.
  • Online aficionados – remember to head to cashback websites. Using cashback sites means that you really can get something for nothing: head to your chosen online store via sites like TopCaschback or Quidco, shop as normal, and get money back! It couldn't be easier, and at this time of year, your potential earnings can really add up, which could give you a nice little financial boost when the post-Christmas blues kick in.
  • Over-spender? Then you may want to look at 0% balance transfer cards. These will ensure that your maxed out credit cards don't become too much of a financial burden, as providing you make at least the minimum payment each month, you won't need to worry about interest adding to the bill. Clear the balance by the time the interest-free period ends and you won't have to pay anything extra at all, so even if you weren't quite as strict with your spending as you should have been, you hopefully won't have to pay the price too much.
  • Panic buyers – try to make a list! There's not much we can do to help the last-minute shoppers, apart from encouraging you to make a list so you're not blindly racing around the high street! If you know what you're looking for you'll at least have some idea of where to go, and hopefully you'll be able to tick everything off without too much hassle.

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.