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Tuesday 21 March 2023 Dublin: 10°C
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One in three people plan to borrow to fund their Christmas spending this year
The new research has shown that consumers expect to spend an average of almost €1,000 this festive season.

ONE IN THREE consumers plan to borrow this year in order to fund their Christmas spending.

New research by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) on Christmas spending and finances has shown that consumers expect to spend an average of almost €1,000 this year.

Expected spending was significantly higher among those aged 35 to 54, with 43% planning to spend at least €1,000, and a further 17% of this age group expecting to spend at least €2,000 over the festive season.

The research also showed that those with children living in their household plan to spend an average of €1,397, almost 80% more compared to those without children, who plan to spend €787 on average.

While 65% of consumers reported that they will use their savings to fund their Christmas spending, one in three consumers said that they intend to borrow to help cover their Christmas costs this year.

Credit cards were found to be the most popular form of credit this Christmas, with 29% of people saying they would use one to fund their spending. 4% said they would use store finance options such as hire purchase or ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ credit arrangements, while 3% intend to avail of a traditional loan from a bank or credit union.

The findings are based on consumer research carried out by IPSOS MRBI across a nationally representative sample of 1,044 interviews between 1 and 14 November.

The CCPC is cautioning consumers who are considering using credit to help fund their Christmas expenses to look for a cheaper credit option before using a credit card and to limit their debt as much as possible.

Grainne Griffin, Director of Communications with the CCPC, said that it’s important for consumers to remember that all credit options come at a cost.

“Even credit options which may seem like easy solutions, such as credit cards or store finance, can be very expensive if you stretch your repayments out into the New Year,” she said.

It’s crucial that consumers keep track of their debts and when repayments will fall due. From credit cards, to online loans, to ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ shopping options, it has never been easier to accumulate multiple debts and run the risk of becoming overwhelmed by repayments once the festive season is over. With many consumers shopping earlier this year, this may mean that credit card bills and other repayments may also fall due earlier, potentially before Christmas.

Among those who plan to spend more this Christmas, 58% said it was due to an increase in prices, followed by 52% who said they wanted to make this Christmas extra special.

When asked to compare their expected expenditure against last year, over half of respondents said they would spend about the same as they did over Christmas last year, while one in five said they plan to spend more this Christmas.

Those with higher incomes were more likely to increase their Christmas spending this year, while those with lower incomes reported they will spend less this year.

The CCPC is encouraging consumers to closely manage their Christmas credit to avoid being overwhelmed by New Year repayment demands.

“We’re asking consumers to follow a number of simple steps this Christmas to help them make sure they are spending within their means and to avoid carrying debt into the New Year,” Griffin said.

“If any consumer needs additional information on managing their money this Christmas, or would like to compare loan interest rates, they can use our independent Money Tools at or call our helpline on 01 402 5555.”

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