Christmas can be one of the most expensive times of the year for families in the United Kingdom. A new study conducted by PayPlan has found that many parents will even need to rely on the support of relatives, finance deals and their credit cards to make it through the season this year.

The results

PayPlan surveyed 1,000 people via PollFish asking them about their spending habits ahead of Christmas. We discovered that over half of parents (55%) say they will rely on their credit card for essential living costs this Christmas, such as paying for their household bills.

Meanwhile, PayPlan’s survey found that one-quarter of parents (23%) have had to borrow money from their friends and family members to make it through the season. Three-quarters (75%) also said they rely on finance to pay for cars, home products, technology and holidays this season.

Over half of parents surveyed by PayPlan (50%) said they had suffered from stress because of their finances too.

Expert opinion

Jane Clack, from PayPlan, says: “Christmas spending varies between each household, but the price that’s paid ultimately comes from the question: how important of a priority is Christmas when compared against the cost of living?

“You should set yourself a budget as early as possible in the lead up to Christmas, to make sure you are fully prepared. If you find money is tight over the holidays, you may want to get thrifty over the festive season and be on the lookout for offers, as well as charity-shop bargains.

“Newer festive holiday dates such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday have seen a push toward retailers dropping prices which can be a help, but it can also lead to customers buying more expensive items to cash in on a ‘deal’ for something they were never intending on purchasing. You will want to be careful to not make an unnecessary purchase.”

Diagnose your spending

To help parents ensure they are not in danger of falling into debt this Christmas, PayPlan has also created a new interactive tool to help you manage your finances. Diagnose Your Spending will provide a risk assessment of your current situation to ensure you are balancing your budget.