The UK looks set for a record-breaking Christmas spending spree as shoppers reveal they intend to splash out on presents to help get over lockdown. Families have said they intend to spend around 25% more than usual on Christmas presents in 2020, according to research by financial comparison experts money.co.uk.
Experts at money.co.uk have identified this weekend, from Saturday, August 1st, as the best date for Brits to start Christmas shopping this year. The personal finance specialists have even produced a handy Christmas Best Savings guide, to show shoppers exactly when to shop savvy for Christmas discounts and how to make the most of the potential savings available, to lighten the financial load at Christmas.
Last year Brits said they intended to spend an average of £780 on Christmas presents for family, loved ones, friends and work colleagues. But this year that figure looks set to sky-rocket to £965 as the nation looks to splash out even more cash on their nearest and dearest.
Despite almost three quarters revealing they would consider starting their Christmas shopping earlier if it could save them money, the majority of shoppers don’t start Christmas shopping till just a few weeks before the big day. This means that they are missing out on hundreds of pounds of potential savings throughout the year, new research has shown.
While more than 6 in 10 UK residents don’t start shopping for Christmas presents till November, a quarter of the nation doesn’t even think about Christmas presents till December every year.
And that means they’re missing out on bargains throughout the rest of the year – with hundreds of pounds of potential savings up for grabs for savvy shoppers.
Salman Haqqi, personal finance expert at money.co.uk, said: “Just 15% of Brits shop for Christmas presents year-round, according to our survey, but there are huge savings to be made as a result of sales and discount periods throughout the year for those who do.
“We’ve identified Saturday August 1st as the best day to start Christmas shopping this year – as between August and Christmas Day there are so many discount opportunities to take advantage of for shoppers who want to maximise their spending power.”
Money.co.uk surveyed 2,000 shoppers across the UK in July this year to paint an accurate picture of the nation’s Christmas shopping habits. Highest on the agenda is spending to recover from a year blighted by the coronavirus lockdown, according to the data.
In 2019 the average amount spent on a Christmas present for mums was £63, according to the money.co.uk data. But in 2020, that figure is set to climb to £71. The same is true for dads – with 2019’s average present spend on fathers of £51 being trumped by 2020’s average of £63.
And the anticipated increase in spending looks set to stay the same across the board with stepmums and stepdads, mother-in-laws and father-in-laws, partners, siblings, extended families, friends and work colleagues all about to benefit from a higher value Christmas present this year, according to the poll.
Even family pets are set to feel the extra warmth of a more expensive present this Christmas – with last year’s Christmas spending on pets presents rising from £27 to £31 in 2020.
The only exception, it seems, is the nation’s children. While 46% of the nation says that it intends to spend the most on its kids as usual this year – the actual spending value on presents for children looks set to reverse the trend by going downwards, from £129 in 2019 to £116 in 2020.
Salman Haqqi added: “Sixty-four per cent of those we polled said they intended to spend more or at least as much on Christmas presents in 2020, as they did in 2019.
“Three in 10 of those said they will spend more because lockdown has been so tough on everyone, and they want to treat the family, with a further 23% saying they’d managed to save money during lockdown, so they intend to splurge a little.
“Though many start Christmas shopping quite late traditionally, 67% said they would start Christmas shopping much earlier if they knew it would save them money. So, to help shoppers spread the cost of Christmas we have created the ultimate Christmas Best Savings Guide which shows shoppers when and where to spend their money to get the biggest bang for their buck on Christmas presents.
“The guide also includes 12 Saves of Christmas tips on how to best manage that Christmas budget when doing the seasonal shopping.”
Thirty per cent of the nation says it gets most of its Christmas shopping online, with 25% admitting they still do the majority of their Christmas shop in-store and 45% doing a mixture of both.
The nation is divided about the big whole-day Christmas shopping trip too – with almost equal numbers saying they loathe it or love it.