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Scrooge or big spender? Christmas costs revealed

Scrooge or big spender? Christmas costs revealed

Are Britons terrible scrooges at Christmas time, or do they spend like there’s no tomorrow? And do they say ‘Bah, humbug’ to festive parties, or let down their hair at every opportunity?

Well, the results are in and it seems most could perhaps best be described as ‘sensible spenders’ who, nevertheless, like a decent knees up or two during the holiday period.

Many spend a decent chunk of monthly wage

Far from being scrooges, research from insurer Policy Expert shows that the majority spend a reasonable chunk of their monthly wage on Christmas gifts.

One-in-five (20%) shell out between £250 and £399, the most common sums to spend. As the latest Government statistics show that the average weekly wage is £495, or around £2,200 per month, that means many people spend anywhere from 5.5% to 8% of their total earnings on pressies.

Plenty of us splash out more however, with the next most common range being between £500 and £749 (16%), or up to 35% of the average wage. Third are those (15%) who spend between £400 and £499, around 20% of earnings.

There are also some who really go to town, however, with just under one-in-seven (15%) shelling out £750 or more on pressies, of whom over one-in-twelve (8%) actually break the £1,000 mark.


Who gets the priciest presents?

As you’d perhaps expect, partners and spouses do well when it comes to who gets the most expensive pressies. Over one-in-five (22%) receive a Christmas gift that cost £50 to £90, and another one-in-five (19%) get something worth between £100 and £149.

But a significant minority (4%) spend less than a tenner on their partner, no doubt for reasons of frugality, morality or necessity.

Friends are generally given items worth from £10 to £29 (53%), while one-in-four buddies (26%) have less than a tenner spent on them.


Do we party hard at Christmas?

When it comes to partying during the holiday season, most Brits like to let their hair down at some stage.

Over one-in-three (36%) manage to go to one Christmas or New Year party, but at least one-in-four (24%) really get into the festive spirit and go to three. Another one-in-twelve (8%) are a little crazier and manage four or more.

However, rather sadly almost one-in-three (29%) don’t usually go to any parties at all.

They also take up a reasonable chunk of the UK’s festive cash, with over one-in-five (22%) splashing out £50 to £99 on rave ups and a similar number (17%) spending between £100 and £250.


Policy Expert

Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, so we have a team of experts with a real passion for making sure people get the cover that’s right for them. For more information, you can call our experts on 0330 0600 600 or visit for more ways to reach us.

Published 14th December 2018