Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Savvy-nomics rules this yule!

Will the festive season knock the stuffing out of your budget this year? 
Is it going to be a blow-out Christmas, or will you be sipping Lambrini instead of Laurent-Perrier on the 25th?

According to new research UK shoppers are going to rein in their spending this Christmas, spending on average £26 less per head than last year.
It seems austerity messages have hit home and people are thinking about how to make their money go further. Does that sound familiar to you?

The CFEB’s survey says we’re more savvy this year than we were five years ago:
  • ·      Nearly twice as many of us (37%) now set a Christmas budget and intend to stick to it (up from 19% in 2005)
  • ·      6 out of ten people will post cards earlier to cash in on cheaper 2nd class postage rates (up from 40% in 2005)
  • ·      Twice as many of us (16%) are happy to source second-hand items as gifts (up from 8% in 2005)
  • ·      More than half of us (54%) say we’ll cut back on the food budget by buying supermarket’s own brands (up from 25% in 2005)

This is great news and should mean that Santa's the only one who'll be starting 2011 in the red. 
Although a worrying 34% of people say they will fund Christmas from their December pay packet. 
Then they've still got another long month to get through before the next pay day. 
And…er…no they haven’t done anything so far this year to help spread the cost.

So, while I'm not saying ho ho ho to those who intend to have a no frills, fully paid up Christmas I'm reminded of psychological research showing that intentions don't always translate into reality. 
Will those good intentions melt away when the jingle bells and seasonal smells of the festive stores seduce us into slipping extra boxes of baubles and novelty socks into the basket?  

Will we be overcome with guilt at the paucity of the present pile and nip out for another singing fish at the last minute? 
Might we even risk buying things people don't need with money we don't have?
It’s the unplanned, impulsive purchases that can trip us up and, as sheconomics research shows, women are especially likely to get overwhelmed by the urge to splurge.
Check out the cheery CFEB Christmas website

Luckily the Consumer Finance Education Body has some great tips on its Christmas website launched today. There is a Christmas cut-back calculator to work out where you can release cash from other expenses to cover the seasonal spend. Plus they’ve got lots more Christmas tips and really accessible, useful (and free) financial advice.

Check out their tips now and be a savvy spender this Christmas.



  1. Good news that people are spending less at Christmas! So many tips online on how to do it - DIY decorations, planning Christmas etc... do happy to have received a group email from Mother-in-law suggesting hand-made presents (poems, pictures, knitted creations etc) or minimal spend all around! That's the Christmas spirit ;)

  2. Thanks for the comment and good on your mother-in-law for embracing the home-made trend!
    What a fabulous way to teach your kids that christmas is about thinking of others.
    And about putting our hearts, rather than wads of cash, into what we give. (don't forget to take some pics of those 'knitted creations ;-))


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