Shoppers risk financial security for Christmas

| December 12, 2011 | 0 Comments
Shoppers risk finances for Christmas

Although stores have been forced to start their sales early this year to persuade shoppers to part with their money, nearly a third of people in the UK will go into debt over Christmas.

Fifty-eight percent of this group will put more spending than usual on credit cards and thirty-nine per cent will go overdrawn to fund Christmas according to a survey carried out by YouGov on behalf of banking software company Intelligent Environments.

Others will take out personal loans or borrow money from friends and family.

The survey of 2,015 adults found that 11 per cent of people in the UK will lose track of spending over the festive period and people between the ages of 25 and 34 were found to struggle the most with money.

Sixty-four per cent of this group expect to incur debts or arrears of some kind as a result of Christmas expenses.

Jerry Mulle, sales and marketing director at Intelligent Environments, said: “Christmas is typically a cash-strapped time of the year but as harsher economic conditions start to bite the number of people falling into debt or behind on their payments looks set to rise.

Another YouGov survey, this time commissioned by housing charity Shelter, also highlighted people’s willingness to go into debt in order to buy Christmas food and gifts, to the extent of putting their homes at risk.

Out of 1,029 adults surveyed, one in twelve said they would miss paying their rent in order to pay for the cost of Christmas, and one in fourteen said they would miss a mortgage payment.

Shelter warns that cuts to jobs and housing benefits and the high cost of housing is creating the conditions in which homelessness is likely to rise.

Graeme Brown, the director of Shelter Scotland, said: “We urge people to think very carefully before delaying rent or mortgage payments. It can seem like a quick fix, but can have long lasting implications.”

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