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Brits set to spend £33.3 BILLION on gifts this Christmas

Our new research and interactive budgeting calculator reveals the true cost of UK Christmas gifting

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As Christmas preparations reach fever pitch, new data from money.co.uk reveals that the UK is set to spend over £33.3 billion on Christmas gifts this year, with children receiving the largest average spend per gift (£129.79) and work colleagues the least (£20.34).

Fuelled by the results, money.co.uk has developed a new interactive calculator - The Gifting Index - designed to make budgeting easy.

The tool allows users to plan out their full year of gifting by breaking it manageable monthly chunks, and compare their current gifting spend to others around the UK.

For example, the average Brit earning £28,000 and looking to purchase the average nine presents for Christmas 2020, would need to budget £50.85 a month, based on the UK's average gift spends*.

The UK's average spend per person at Christmas:

Updated 20 April 2023
Person receiving the giftAmount spent
Children (under 16)£129.79
Children (over 16)£105.99
Father in law£40.00
Mother in law£38.25
Extended Family£29.17
Work Colleagues £20.34

Whilst children may receive the largest total spend on average, that amount differs drastically depending on where in the UK you live, with parents in Belfast spending 70% more (£228.62) than those in Plymouth (£67.73).

Across the UK, those living in Plymouth also spend the least on their partner's gifts too (£90.85), £15.14 less than the UK average.

The data also revealed Brits do in fact have a favourite parent, with people on average spending £63.51 on their mums, 18% more than they spend on their dad (£51.81).

With almost half (47%) of Brits revealing they do not financially prepare for Christmas throughout the year and one in five (21%) admitting they'll get into debt to pay for this year's festivities, the new money.co.uk Gifting Index budgeting tool is the perfect way to manage finances for special occasions.

Salman Haqqi, personal finance expert at money.co.uk, said: "Christmas is a really expensive time for families across the UK. With high expectations to meet and costs mounting up, it's easy to fall into debt. Budgeting is the best way to ensure you avoid unmanageable debts and take control of your finances.

"To avoid paying interest on any credit card purchases you make this Christmas, try to budget to pay off the card in full, or take advantage of 0% purchase. To make the debt more manageable, you could opt for a 0% balance transfer card. "Our Gifting Index calculator allows users to compare their gift spending with the rest of the UK, and encourages people to plan ahead with a personalised 2020 gifting budget too."


If you need advice on how to best use a credit card at Christmas or how to save this Christmas and even how to make Christmas dinner more affordable, the our experts have developed three guides to help consumers avoid overspending during the festive season:

Our spokespeople

Salman Haqqi

Salman Haqqi, Personal Finance Editor

Salman Haqqi spent 10 years as a journalist reporting in several countries around the world. Salman left the world of journalism and moved to the UK to pursue a passion for personal finance and a desire to help people make informed financial decisions.

Read Salman Haqqi's articles and guides
Joel Kempson

Joel Kempson, Personal Finance Writer

Joel Kempson devotes his time to helping people navigate the world of personal finance and make informed decisions about their money. He spent his early career writing about TV, movies, comic books and rock music.

Read Joel Kempson's articles and guides

About Salman Haqqi

Salman is our personal finance editor with over 10 years’ experience as a journalist. He has previously written for Finder and regularly provides his expert view on financial and consumer spending issues for local and national press.

View Salman Haqqi's full biography here or visit the money.co.uk press centre for our latest news.