The cost of Christmas – a full year’s salary over a lifetime!

Brits will spend a total of £20,072 on Christmas over their working life, according to figures compiled by the National Employment Savings Trust and MoneySupermarket. That’s almost equivalent to an entire year’s gross salary for the average earner in the UK.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 14th December 2012, 2:31 pm

MoneySupermarket found that individuals plan to spend on average £445 each this year on Christmas, up from £437 the previous year. The research shows that younger people tend to spend the least, while spending peaks between 35 and 54. Over a working life of 50 years, it works out to almost a full year’s salary for the average earner.

However, a new NEST poll found that, when asked what was most essential to a good Christmas, spending time with family topped the list (68 per cent), suggesting the best part of Christmas is free.

Work parties are the least favourite part of Christmas, with nearly half of people (48 per cent) saying they would happily avoid them. Other least favourite things include Brussels sprouts, with a third (32 per cent) saying they would willingly give them up, and Christmas stockings, which a fifth (21 per cent) would ditch.

The poll also found that the cost of Christmas is a worry for most people, with 77 per cent being ‘concerned’, a third being ‘very’ or ‘extremely concerned’ about how much Christmas costs them and half (52 per cent) agreeing they spend too much during the festive season.

Women are more concerned than men about how much they will have to spend this year. 37 per cent of women say they’re worried about how much Christmas will cost them compared to just 29 per cent of men.

NEST has come up with five tips to help people manage the costs of Christmas, including dodging multiple work do’s, streamlining stockings, recycling wrapping, sharing the Christmas cooking and choosing Christmas trees with future Christmases in mind.

Helen Dean of NEST, said: “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.

“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.

“Visiting friends and family and giving gifts is something to look forward to, whatever age we are. Watching the pennies each year could help us all put aside money for the future so we can make the most of lots more Christmases to come.”