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Dublin: 9 °C Thursday 24 April, 2014

One quarter of Irish people ‘will be paying for Christmas’ in New Year

Only two out of five of us will be able to get through Christmas just on our regular income – although credit card use is set to drop, according to Irish credit unions.

Image: RTimages via Shutterstock

THE IRISH LEAGUE of Credit Unions has found that 25 per cent of consumers they surveyed expect to be still paying for Christmas “well into the New Year”.

The survey found that it takes the average person here two months for their finances to recover after the festive season – and that women stay out of pocket for longer than men. The average that respondents expect to spend this Christmas is €527 (in 2011, that figure was projected by ILCU members as slightly less, at €562). Santa presents will cost an average of €170 per child. (Poor Santa).

There is some good news though:

  • 58 per cent of us believe that Christmas will be enjoyable this year, even with our financial worries
  • Family and friends are the most important element of Christmas celebrations, 43 per cent believe
  • Three out of five people plan to do some Christmas shopping online because they believe they will find better value and choice there (45 per cent of respondents think prices on the high street are too expensive)
  • There will be a drop in the use of credit cards over Christmas 2012

What’s the average spend around the country?

  • In Dublin: €533
  • The rest of Leinster: €545
  • Munster: €517
  • Connacht: €488
  • Ulster: €520

The 35-54 age bracket will spend most money (€575), while 18-34-year-olds will spend an average of €455 and over-55s will spend an average of €512.

How will we finance our Christmas?

  • Regular income 42 per cent
  • General savings 22 per cent
  • Savings specifically for Christmas 19 per cent
  • Credit cards 5 per cent
  • Credit Union loan 5 per cent
  • Friends/family 2 per cent
  • Moneylenders 2 per cent

An interesting stat to come out of the survey is that 71 per cent of those surveyed think they will do their Christmas shopping – especially groceries – in the Republic of Ireland. That means that three out of ten will go outside of the Republic – the largest proportion (11 per cent) will go to Northern Ireland, 9 per cent will go to the UK, 5 per cent plan to do their main shopping elsewhere in Europe and 4 per cent plan a Christmas shopping trip in the States.

Read: Irish consumers will be highest spenders in Europe this Christmas>

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