Brits bear the brunt of festive excess
Photo Credit: kevin dooley via Compfight cc


The decorations may be packed away and the last of the leftover turkey fed to the dogs, but one remnant of Christmas remains for many Britons.

According to the Co-operative Bank, only one in ten Brits were able to cover the full cost of their Christmas budget using their January pay packet.

But seven in ten found January especially hard, and the average individual ran out of money on January 7th, leaving them to fall back on other sources of funds until February’s payday arrived.

Even in February, the average person’s disposable income stood at just £191.76 once they had covered their festive bills.

And a quarter of all those surveyed said they still hadn’t cleared their Christmas costs, but would do so in March.

Worryingly though, it’s not just Christmas that puts a strain on people’s finances; the survey also found the costs of enjoying warmer weather make June and August especially difficult, too.

And 22% of all those surveyed believe that, by the time Christmas comes round again, they’ll still owe repayments on their borrowing from the previous year.

So what are people doing to cover the cost of all this excess? Some are living within their means by cutting back on bills, clothes shopping and social expenditure.

One in six (16%) are looking to take on extra work in months when their finances feel stretched, and 29% withdraw savings when they have to.

A hefty 42% use their overdraft, and 34% will put even expensive items on their credit card, adding to their already-existing debt.

Most worryingly of all, 19% – almost one in five of all those surveyed – simply ignore their financial predicament in a bad month.

For this reason above all else, CPA would always recommend credit checking new customers, as you never know what secrets their seemingly healthy bank balance might reveal about their long-term reliability.


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