UK consumers’ festive season celebrations are being mired by a continued squeeze on household budgets, with recent figures revealing that 1.6 million households will be reining in their spending this Christmas.
The findings from Legal & General’s MoneyMood Survey reveal that more than a third (36%) of UK households will be spending less this Christmas, the highest figure since 2010.
East Anglia emerged as the region with the most households struggling to afford the cost of presents and celebrations in 2012 at 14%; this was followed by the North West (13%), Wales (11%) and London (10%). Figures were lowest in the West Midlands (2%) and the South West (4%).
“Last month we reported that over 300,000 more households are struggling to make ends meet compared with the figures from just before the recession took hold,” said Mark Gregory, Legal & General Chief Executive Officer for Savings.
“The cost of fuel may be one reason households are finding it even harder to afford Xmas this year. Our MoneyMood survey has shown one in 5 (21%) of homes say they are in “fuel poverty” and a further fifth (19%) say they are “almost” in fuel poverty.”
Recent estimates from NEST (National Employment Savings Trust) revealed that Brits will spend a total of £20,072 on Christmas over their working life, with 77% of those surveyed concerned about the cost of Christmas.
“We’re all looking forward to Christmas, this year and for many years to come. But it’s shocking that it will cost many of us the equivalent of a full year’s salary over our working lives. No wonder spending at this time of year is such a concern for so many families,” said Helen Dean, Managing Director of Scheme Development at NEST.
“Shaving just a little bit off the annual festive bill and focusing on enjoying time with family could mean more peace of mind now and big savings over the long term.”