Two in every three consumers will dip into savings to fund Christmas

Households with children to spend an average of €1,600

by Gazette Reporter
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money, christmas

New research released today by the Competition & Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has shown that two-thirds of consumers are planning to put their savings towards shopping for presents, food and decorations over the festive season, while 24% intend to use a form of borrowing. 

Research findings show that consumers are expected to spend an average of €1,200 on Christmas shopping this year, a 20 per ent increase on Christmas expenditure in 2021. Over one third of shoppers will spend an average of at least €1,000, while households with children are due to spend almost €1,600. The 35-44 age group intend to spend the most over the festive season with an average of almost €1,500.

Price increases were cited by 73% of consumers as the reason for increased spending this year. ‘Making Christmas extra special this year’ was also a key reason for 42% of shoppers, while 29% cited an increase in income as a reason to spend more. 20% have more savings to put towards Christmas this year compared to last year.

The number of consumers who plan to borrow to fund Christmas expenses has dropped to one in four, compared to one in three last year. In addition, the number of consumers who plan to use credit cards to finance Christmas has almost halved, dropping from 29 per cent in 2021 to 15 per cent in 2022. Credit cards remain one of the most expensive forms of credit available to consumers. 

Grainne Griffin, CCPC Director of Communications said: “We’re very glad to see that almost 70% of consumers are planning on using savings to fund their Christmas expenses this year. Having short-term savings that you can dip into at Christmas and build back up next year is a sign of good financial wellbeing. 

For the one-in-four consumers who don’t have the option of using savings, it is very encouraging to see a clear drop in plans to use credit cards which remain one of the most expensive forms of credit available. We are also very glad to see that Irish consumers are not planning on using Buy Now Pay Later options to fund Christmas. While Buy Now Pay Later credit can be tempting and seem convenient,  it can add up quickly leaving consumers swamped with hefty repayments. 

“Our advice to consumers is make a list of expenses and set a realistic budget setting out how much you can afford to spend. For consumers who plan to use credit, the CCPC online money tools can help consumers compare rates for personal loans and other financial products.”

For more information on shopping online, visit ccpc.ie or call our helpline on 01 402 5555.  

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