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Money saving tips & news

Nearly Half of People in the UK Panic-buy Their Christmas Shopping

Nearly Half of People in the UK Panic-buy Their Christmas Shopping

A study has revealed that nearly half of people in the UK plan exactly what they are going to purchase for Christmas, and nearly half of Brits admit to panic-buying “just any old thing”, often at the last minute.

Despite this, three in four of us still believe ‘it’s the thought that counts’.

More than one quarter of the nation gets caught up in the commercialism of the season and feel pressure to spend a certain amount on their significant other, whether they can really afford it or not. In fact, 45 per cent of people lose their festive cheer because of the burden they feel around gift-giving.

Busy lifestyles result in one third of the nation leaving their Christmas shopping to the week before Christmas.

Online lender, who commissioned the study, noted: “Despite being a sentimental nation, life can get in the way meaning we leave buying our Christmas gifts to the last minute and even panic-buy just to put something under the tree. This often results in spending more than intended and can even leave our loved ones disappointed with generic or seemingly thoughtless gifts.”

The poll of 2,000 adults revealed that the average family in the UK will receive £462 of presents over the Christmas period, but nearly 37% of Brits feel they were given gifts ‘without any real thought going into them’.

Christmas can also cause financial strain, with an astonishing 42 per cent of people relying on credit cards to cover the cost of gifts 68 per cent of UK adults set a budget for their Christmas shopping, but 15 per cent admit they don’t stick to it.

Scots are Britain’s most organised gift-givers, with 28% knowing in advance exactly what they will be giving for Christmas this year.

The Welsh come out tops for not giving into the temptation to ‘panic purchase’ – with six in ten claiming to never have bought ‘any old thing’ as a Christmas gift.

People of the North East of England are the most prepared Christmas shoppers, with a third of them finishing all of their Christmas shopping one month ahead of time.

East Midlanders are most content with their presents, with four in ten% believing that they receive thoughtful gifts.

Animal-loving Brits always find time and budget for their furry friends, however - spending an average of £14 on gifts for their pets. Nine per cent of people admit to treating their pet to gifts worth £50 or more.

Brits will often buy gifts for themselves, with a festive treat costing an average of £21.

The results of the survey are a stark reminder that it’s not necessary to spend above your means at Christmastime, especially if you are resorting to using credit cards to keep up with the commercial side of Christmas and the pressure to be generous.

They say that the best things in life are free - and since so many would much prefer to receive a thoughtful gift over an expensive one, investing time in finding thoughtful gifts can result in both better-received gifts and money saved.

For tips and tricks to help you save money this Christmas, read our other blog posts on the subject at

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