Christmas Spending 2013

November 29, 2013

Our latest survey into the spending plans of people in Scotland and across Great Britain this Christmas reveals a marked generational divide in festive budgets. The report shows a significant disparity in attitudes to spending on the festive season, both to the amount that will be spent and the willingness to use credit as a means of bolstering the Christmas budget.

Highest spenders

The report highlights an apparently freer-spending middle-aged group (aged 45-54), who not only plan to spend the most this Christmas across England, Scotland and Wales, but who are also the least likely to pay for the festive season solely with funds in their current account.

  • Within the 45-54 age group, the average spend is £537 in Britain, rising to an average of £766 in Scotland.
  • The 18-24 age group plans to spend an average of £240 in Scotland.

The research also flags up variations in expected spend across England, Wales and Scotland, challenging tired racial stereotypes of the Scottish unwillingness to spend. It finds that the average Scotsman expects to spend £636 on gifts and entertaining this Christmas, compared to an average British male planned spend of just £473.

  • The average spend for Scottish women is £573, compared to an average female Christmas budget across the whole of Britain of £506.
  • As a whole, women spend more at Christmas on average across Britain: £506 compared to £473 spent by men.
  • The average spend by both men and women was also highest in Scotland at £611, compared to £596 in Wales and £472 in England.
  • In Scotland, 14% of people polled plan to spend more than £1,000 on Christmas. In Wales only 8% plan to spend £1,000 or more. The figure drops to 3% in England.
  • Working-class Scots will spend only £9 less on average (£579) than middle-class Scots (£588). By comparison in Britain as a whole the middle-class spend is £55 more than the working-class budget, at £513 compared to £458.

 

Regional Scottish spend

  • The highest spending area in Scotland is the Highlands and Islands, where the average person will spend £787 this Christmas. The lowest spend will be in Lothian, at £421.
  • In Glasgow, 6% of people expect to spend more than £2,000 on Christmas, compared to 0% in Edinburgh.
  • Glaswegians spend 55% more on average (£666) than their counterparts in Edinburgh.

 

Attitude to credit

The report also reveals some striking disparities in the willingness of different age groups to use credit to fund the cost of Christmas this year. The middle-aged (45-54) are the most likely to use credit to make up the shortfall in their Christmas spending 2013.

  • 25% of Scots aged 45-54 admit they are likely to get into debt this Christmas, compared to 20% of that age group across Britain.
  • 22% of people in Scotland, and 20%of those in Britain, who have full-time jobs say they are likely to get into debt this Christmas.
  • However only 13% of 18-24-year-olds in Britain, and in Scotland, say they will get into debt to pay for Christmas.
  • In Scotland 77% of 18-24s will make use of money that they have in their current accounts to fund their Christmas spend, compared to 68% in Britain as a whole.
  • Only 1% of that age group in Scotland will use a credit card with an existing balance to fund their festivities this December.
  • Across Britain, 46% of people say they “never worry” about the cost of Christmas.

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