Christmas Spending Statistics

‘Tis the season to be spending. New research reveals that 36.3 million Brits plan to spend an estimated £14.2 billion this festive season!

Naomi Hudson

by Naomi Hudson, Bargain Hunter

Gifts, gifts, gifts

Are you planning on shopping up a storm this Christmas? If so, you’re not alone, with 87.4% of Brits planning to purchase gifts this year.

In fact, on average, we plan to spend an estimated £390.56 each on purchases this year – that’s collectively £14.2 billion.

Let’s take a closer look…

The average spend by gender, men spend on average £410.85 and women spend £373.18.

Interestingly, men plan to spend more on gifts than women this Christmas, sitting at £410.85 on average – that’s £37.67 more than women are expected to spend.

When it comes to generation, Gen X plan to spend the most this year, with an expected spend of £425.10 on average. Millennials are next up at £416.73, followed by Baby Boomers at £350.68.

Image showing the spend by generation, Gen X spend the most at £425.10.
The average spend by region, Londoners spend the most at £536.29.

Those residing in London plan to spend the most over the holiday season, sitting at £536.29 each on average. Northern Ireland came in second at £451.25, followed by those in Scotland at £417.77.


How do we plan to pay for these gifts?

Most gift-givers (81.5%) will be tapping into their savings to pay for some or all of their purchases. Almost two in five (38.5%) will be using their credit cards and 12.6% will take out a short-term payday loan. Just under one in 10 (9.1%) will use a personal loan and some will also be borrowing from friends and family (8.9%) to pay for gifts this year.

Almost three in five Christmas shoppers (57.3%) will be using their savings for all of their gift purchases, while 14.3% will be expensing all of their gifts on plastic.

Gender

  • Slightly more men will be turning to their savings for some or all of their gift buying compared to women this year (82.7% compared to 80.5% respectively)
  • 43.4% of men will be paying via credit cards, compared to 34.3% of women
  • More men will turn to short-term payday loans for their gift purchases (15.9% for men compared to 9.7% of women)
  • Personal loans will be used by 5.8% of women’s and 13.0% of men’s Christmas gift purchases
  • Men are double as likely to turn to friends and family to borrow money for gift purchases this Christmas (6.0% of women and 12.2% of men)
  • Women will be relying solely on their savings more than men this year, sitting at 60.4% compared to 53.8% respectively
  • Slightly more men than women will be solely using their credit cards for gifts this Christmas, sitting at 14.6% compared to 14.0%

Generation

  • Spending with savings is the most popular option for all generations, with Millennials in the lead at 87.3% who plan to use some or all of their savings on buying gifts. They were followed by Gen X at 82.7% and Baby Boomers at 78.4%
  • More than half of all Millennials (55.5%) plan to shop gifts on plastic this year, followed by almost 2 in 5 Gen X’ers (38.5%) and about 1 in 3 Boomers (32.0%)
  • Unsurprisingly, more Millennials than any other generation (26.9%) are planning to borrow money from their friends and/or family for Christmas gifts, followed by 9.7% of Gen X and 1.4% of Boomers
  • The younger you are, the higher chance you’ll be using a loan for gifts this Christmas. For short-term payday loans, 33.8% of Millennials will be purchasing gifts this way, followed by 13.0% of Gen X and 4.3% of Baby Boomers
  • When it comes to personal loans, 31.4% of Millennials will be shopping this way, followed by 7.9% of Gen X and 1.8% of Baby Boomers
  • Of spenders relying solely on savings, Baby Boomers lead the way at 65.8%, followed by Gen Xers at 55.7% and Millennials at 38.6%
  • When it comes to solely relying on credit cards, Baby Boomers take the cake once again at 18.7%, followed by Gen X at 12.0% and Millennials at 7.9%

How do we compare to our friends in the USA?

How does our Christmas gift budget compare to the US? While we plan to spend an average of £390.56 each this year on gifts, Americans are bigger spenders, budgeting US$663.96 (£494.77) each on gifts.

Gender

  • For Brits, men plan to spend more than women, sitting at £410.85 compared to £373.18
  • It’s a similar story for Americans, with men planning to spend US$725.15 (£540.63), US$115.68 (£86.22) more than women

Generation

  • The cost of Christmas purchases seemingly translates overseas, with Gen X being the biggest spenders in both the UK (£425.10) and the US (US$782.40 (£583.37)). Millennials came in second for both (£416.76 and US$609.03 (£454.09) respectively), with Baby Boomers sitting in third place for planned spend (£350.68 and US$576.39 (£429.90) respectively)

Region/State

  • The UK’s biggest spenders are Londoners (£536.29), followed by those in Northern Ireland (£417.77) and Scotland (£417.77)
  • Comparatively, the top spending states in America are Massachusetts (US$1,126.90 (£840.72)), followed by Texas (US$907.10 (£676.74)) and New Jersey (US$859.12 (£640.78))
  • For us, those residing in the East of England plan to spend the least this year, sitting at £293.93, followed by the South East at £311.23 and the East Midlands at £326.98
  • In the US, those residing in North Carolina plan to spend the least this year (US$370.53 (£276.36)), followed by Georgia (US$503.25 (£375.36)) and Miami (US$523.70 (£390.61))


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