CCPC Christmas 2021 spending and finances research
December 10, 2021
New research by the CCPC on Christmas spending and finances has shown that consumers expect to spend an average of almost €1,000 on Christmas this year. Households with children plan to spend up to 80% more than households without children.
While the majority of consumers (65%) reported that they will use their savings to fund their Christmas spending, 1 in 3 (34%) consumers said that they intend to borrow to help cover their Christmas costs this year, with credit cards being the most popular type of finance (29%), followed by store finance options (4%) such as hire purchase or ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ credit arrangements.
If you’re thinking about borrowing to cover your Christmas costs, we have put together a number of practical steps you can take to help manage your money and limit your debt over the festive season:
- Make a list of all the items that you intend to buy over Christmas including presents, food, decorations and clothing. Allocate how much money you are going to spend on each and stick to it as closely as possible. This kind of basic budget can help you keep track of your spending, and it limits impulse purchases which can quickly add up and bring you over budget.
- Set your credit limit if you need to borrow to cover your Christmas costs. Decide how much you are going to borrow and where you will borrow from. Otherwise, it can be easy to build up more debts than you intended.
- Consider consolidating your debt by using a personal loan to combine a number of smaller debts into one single debt, to help make repayments easier. Alternatively, consider using a single form of credit to help avoid feeling overwhelmed by several repayment plans to multiple lenders.
- Research your finance options based on how much you need to borrow and the total cost of credit, the main indicator of which is the interest rate. Visit ccpc.ie to compare credit card and loan interest rates in just a few simple clicks. Keep an eye out for introductory offers such as 0%, which can be a good option, but only if you pay the debt off during the offer period.
- Limit your credit card spending over Christmas so that you avoid starting the New Year with a hefty bill. Credit card debt is very expensive if you don’t pay your bill in full every month. It can be tempting to only pay off the minimum balance on your credit card each month, but this will cost you a lot in interest and it could take years to clear your debt.
- Check the T&Cs of ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ credit options. If you miss a payment, you may be charged a late payment fee which will increase the cost of what you bought. Missed payments can lead to a negative credit rating, which could prevent you from getting other loans or credit, such as a mortgage, in the future.
- Make a New Year repayments plan by working out what repayments are due on what date. Try to pay off any debt as quickly as possible because the longer the repayments period, the more it will cost you in interest. Prioritise paying the debt that has the highest interest rate. If you have savings, consider using some of it to pay off your debts, as this could save you money on interest and allow you to save more in the long run. If you are worried about debt, remember there is support available for you. Contact the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) for help in taking control of your debt.
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