The work Christmas party; would you rather have the money?
Published 18 November 2014 by Hayley Cox
With 75% of people saying they would prefer their Christmas party was cancelled and they got the cash instead, could this be a sign that many Brits’ budgets are stretched at this time of year?
If you answered ‘yes’ to the above question, you’re not alone. In fact, the majority of respondents to a recent survey* conducted for us admitted that, given the choice, they would prefer their office do was scrapped and they were given the cash instead.
A nation of Scrooges?
Three-quarters of those surveyed claimed they would rather they were given the money it costs for them to go to their work Christmas party rather than actually go. And this figure was highest among the older generations; with more than 80% of over-55s claiming this, compared to 65% of 18 to 24-year-olds.
So, is the UK a nation of Scrooges? It turns out this may not be the case. In fact, 16% of the people surveyed said they “loved” going to their office Christmas party each year and looked forward to it. A further one in five revealed that it was nice to be able to socialise and let their hair down with their workmates.
However, there were one in 20 respondents who claimed that they went to their party but didn’t enjoy it, while a similar number complained the occasion was “something to be endured”.
Sign of the season?
Perhaps one reason for this ill feeling towards the annual work celebration is that some Brits are still struggling with their finances. While there are regular reports that the UK’s economy is recovering, this may not be reflected in their household budgets.
That might explain why many would prefer to be given money rather than invited to their office Christmas party – even if they usually enjoy going. And as Christmas can be such an expensive time of year, it’s no wonder some would prefer cash to goodwill.
Making ends meet
The key to affording Christmas is planning. It may sound like obvious advice, but it’s also good advice. By putting a little cash away each month at the start of the year, you could find you have the money you need to pay for gifts, travel, Christmas dinner and all the other trimmings of the season when it arrives.
However, if this is something you’ve been unable to do, there are other ways to make ends meet. For instance, you could make an agreement with friends and family that you will only buy gifts for the kids this year. Or why not set up a Secret Santa system, so that each of you buys a present for one person in the group? You could even have a go at making your gifts this year.
You don’t have to bust your budget for the Christmas party either. Wear an outfit you’ve worn before rather than forking out for another – you can dress it up with a new tie, belt or jewellery and no one will be any the wiser. Or, you could follow our tips for putting together the perfect Christmas party outfit on a budget.
Another way to make sure you don’t splash too much cash is to only take a set amount of money with you so you can’t spend any more than what you’ve budgeted – and keep trips to the bar to a minimum. That way, you don’t have to worry about being the centre of attention for all the wrong reasons and a subject of gossip at the water cooler on Monday!
*OnePoll questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and over between 24th September and 3rd October 2014.