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Funding the festivities - one in five borrowed money for Christmas last year

Published 22 October 2013 by

The wine has dried up, the snow has melted away and the toys have run out of batteries - Christmas last year feels like forever ago.

So it seems shocking that almost half (46%) of people who borrowed money to pay for last year's festivities still haven't repaid what they borrowed.

Despite this, 16% of Brits are expecting to have to borrow money to pay for Christmas this year - one in six of us!

Cost of Christmas

We all know Christmas is expensive and many people dread the run-up to the big day, knowing it will take its toll on their finances.

With the sack of presents for the kids, the work Christmas party and general wining and dining with friends - just to name a few outgoings - it's an expensive time of year, but just how expensive?

Well, the average amount borrowed last year was £654 and there's an interesting difference in spending between the sexes.

It seems men are less likely to borrow money for Christmas - but when they do, they really splash the cash, borrowing almost twice as much as women.

Last year, women borrowed on average £547, compared with a hefty £1,000 average for men.

Paying the price for presents

With Christmas rapidly approaching, almost half (46%) of those who borrowed last Christmas have gone almost an entire year without repaying it in full.

That said, over a quarter (28%) think it'll be paid off before this Christmas - for the rest (18%), the debt will get carried over.

The age of borrowing

When people are in different phases of their lives, their spending habits naturally shift.

Parents with excited young kids and a Christmas list the size of your arm are probably more likely to cave into the pressure of a big shopping spree - this might require borrowing.

So it's not too shocking that those aged 35-44 were the most likely to borrow money last year (28%) and are also the most likely to borrow this year (24%).

The map of borrowing

Where you live makes a difference too. The Welsh seem most likely to borrow for Christmas this year (19%) but it was the Northern Irish (30%) who were most likely in 2012.

Over half of people who borrowed in the North West are still repaying it (55%) whereas those in the North East are more likely to have already paid it back (59%).

No matter where you are in the country or what age group you fall into, Christmas is well and truly coming.

A word of advice from us in the run-up to the festive season: remember your budgeting! A good budget could help you avoid the need to borrow for Christmas 2013. If you do end up short of cash, it should also help you figure out what you can comfortably afford to borrow - and help you stick to a plan and pay it back quicker as well!

*Consumer Intelligence questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,940 adults aged 18 and over between 9th and 16th October 2013.