16 Sep 2019 Christmas may be 100 days away but 39% of people have yet to start saving for the festive period, according to research conducted by Leeds Building Society.
As part of its ongoing efforts to understand the savings habits and attitudes of UK adults, the Society ran a national YouGov survey to find out how far people who celebrate Christmas plan ahead.
Just 27% of people have already been putting money away to cover festive expenses, with January the most popular month to start building a Christmas spending pot – cited by 15% of respondents as the month they start saving for Christmas.
Almost a quarter said they don’t save money ahead of Christmas, but the majority (39%) leave their saving to the final four months of the year.
The research found September to be the month people begin to seriously consider their Christmas plans, with people thinking about the gifts they need to buy.
Starting now still leaves time to save for gifts, as Christmas shopping peaks in November and December when 32% and 24% respectively said they get round to buying their presents.
Making plans to meet people over the Christmas period also starts in September, with people booking travel for the festive period and organising Christmas parties.
Matt Bartle, Leeds Building Society’s Director of Products, said: “With just 100 days left until Christmas people are understandably beginning to think about the festive period and the expense that can come with it.
“Those starting to save now will be able to put something aside to cover the expenses of the holiday period, although there may not be enough time to fully cover the costs via savings.
“When there’s a big annual expenditure – whether that’s Christmas or a holiday – saving little and often helps to spread the cost to make it more manageable. It’s satisfying seeing your savings grow and know that you are in a position to cover the cost.”
Almost two in five (18%) of people said they relied on credit to cover previous festive expenses, with 71% of those taking up to six months to repay their debts, while 23% needed longer.
Matt Bartle added: “It is worrying that those who use credit to pay for Christmas can take up to six months to pay it off, which will incur fees and could end up costing them a lot more.”
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