Do you think we spend too much on Christmas? This guest post from Evolution Money makes interesting reading, and really does make you think about the amount of money we spend at this time of year.
The Christmas budget needs to stretch further and further every year, as we are tempted to buy more gifts and the cost of our festive food increases. This has always been the most expensive time of the year and, with everything from decorations and the latest gadgets through to turkey and wine to pay for, the list of Christmas purchases seems never-ending. A new Christmas Infographic from Evolution Money shows what the true cost of the festive season is.
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The Real Cost of Christmas in the UK
The Cost of Gifts
Your children and friends will probably have an extensive list of presents they’d like for Christmas. These are becoming increasingly high-tech, which also pushes up the price. Altogether over the 2014 Christmas period, Britons are expected to spend a total of £88 billion, which is up from last year’s £72.7 billion. Over two-thirds of this amount will be spent solely on gifts for our family and friends.
Children are becoming more aware of products and often have specific requirements, such as wanting an iPad rather than just a standard tablet. This can put pressure on parents, who feel they have to spend the extra money even if they don’t really have the finances to cover it. 47% of parents questioned for the research felt under an immense financial pressure to buy the right presents for their children.
After the cost of presents, stocking up on food is next on the list, accounting for 22% of the total Christmas budget. The cost for an average family of the traditional Christmas dinner, with roast turkey and all the trimmings, comes to £161. It has become one of those times of the year when consumers feel like they have to buy more than they’ll actually need. Shops are full of alcoholic drinks, chocolates, mince pies, crackers and other treats, which can be extremely tempting even when you’re on a limited budget.
Changing Consumer Habits
Over the past few years, online shopping has gathered pace. Consumers are able to research the best bargains rather than buying from the first store they visit. Internet shopping also allows them to browse and shop from a range of stores quickly and easily, at a time that’s convenient for them.
According to figures from Sage Pay, we are expected to spend a total of £13 billion online this Christmas, which is an 18% increase from the £11 billion in 2013. This strong showing for internet sales will push up the overall figures. One of the key times for Christmas internet shopping is the last weekend in November, which has been dubbed Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This coincides with the last monthly payday for the majority of workers.
The increased availability of next-day click-and-collect services is likely to be a bonus for retailers this year. Customers can now take advantage of online deals until much later, with the knowledge that they don’t have to rely on the postal service. Verdict predicts that click-and-collect shopping will account for 12% of all online sales this Christmas.
Smartphone technology now means that consumers can realistically shop whenever and wherever they want to. This has broken down the traditional boundaries, which forced people to do their shopping only when the stores were open.
As mobile sites and apps become increasingly popular and sophisticated, more people are choosing to complete their Christmas shopping this way. According to Weve, a mobile commerce company, almost 10% of shoppers will use their mobile for shopping this festive period. They expect us to spend more through our mobiles this Christmas than in 2013, when we purchased almost £4 billion worth of goods this way. This equated to an average of nearly £250 each.
The Evolution Money Christmas Infographic shows that as consumer habits continue to develop, the way we do our Christmas shopping is changing. However, the demand for a range of gifts and food products will always be there, but the way we buy them will alter.