Last minute shopping in Dublin city centre on Christmas Eve in 2020. PA
Christmas Spending

One in four people intend to use some form of borrowing to fund Christmas spending

The average consumer expects to spend €1,200 on Christmas, a 20% increase on last year.

ONE IN FOUR people intend to use some form of borrowing to fund Christmas spending.

That’s according to new research by the Competition & Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC).

It shows that 24% intend to use a form of borrowing to fund Christmas shopping on presents, food, and decorations.

Last year, this figure was 34%. 

There is also a drop in the number of consumers who plan to use credit cards to finance Christmas, almost halving from 29% in 2021 to 15% in 2022.

The CCPC has warned that credit cards remain one of the most expensive forms of credit available to consumers.

Meanwhile, 68% of consumers expect to use their savings to fund festive spending.

The research also finds that the average consumer expects to spend around €1,200 (€1,186) on Christmas shopping this year, a 20% increase on last year.

Elsewhere, households with children are due to spend close to €1,600, an increase of around €200 on last year.

Price increases were cited by 73% of consumers as the reason for increased spending this year, while a want to ‘make Christmas extra special this year’ was also a key reason for 42% of shoppers.

Meanwhile, 29% cited an increase in income as a reason to spend more and 20% said they have more savings to put towards Christmas this year compared to last year.

The research from the CCPC involved 1,006 interviews among a representative sample of the Irish population between 17 October and 31 October.

Grainne Griffin, CCPC Director of Communications said the CCPC is “very glad to see that almost 70% of consumers are planning on using savings to fund their Christmas expenses this year”.

She added: “Having short-term savings that you can dip into at Christmas and build back up next year is a sign of good financial wellbeing.”

Meanwhile, for the 1 in 4 consumers who don’t have the option of using savings, Griffin said: “It is very encouraging to see a clear drop in plans to use credit cards which remain one of the most expensive forms of credit available.

“We are also very glad to see that Irish consumers are not planning on using Buy Now Pay Later options to fund Christmas. While Buy Now Pay Later credit can be tempting and seem convenient,  it can add up quickly leaving consumers swamped with hefty repayments.”

Griffin also offered this advice for consumers over Christmas: “Our advice to consumers is make a list of expenses and set a realistic budget setting out how much you can afford to spend.

“For consumers who plan to use credit, the CCPC online money tools can help consumers compare rates for personal loans and other financial products.”

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