Not all doom and gloom on the High Street this Xmas?

Over 35% don’t plan to curb their spending this Christmas and of those that do, most will not cut back by more than £150.

Who is feeling the pinch?

Women are less optimistic about the credit crunch and plan to be more cautious than men with their spending this Christmas, over 40% of males don’t plan to cut back at all. Consumers aged 35 – 44 years will be most frugal with over 70% planning to make cuts, suggesting families with high outgoings are feeling the pinch more than most. Whilst the baby boomers and younger generation are less concerned and don’t plan to hold back when it comes to spending over the festive period. Nearly half of 16-24 year olds and those over 66 years old don’t plan to make any cut backs.

Across the UK, people in Edinburgh are the least worried about making cuts this Christmas – over 40% don’t intend to reduce their spending at all and over 23% are prepared to dip into their savings to pay for it. Consumers in Belfast are looking to keep costs low this Christmas with nearly 70% hoping to make cuts.

How will consumers afford Christmas?

Although Christmas won’t be compromised, Brits shop around for the best possible deals and over 70% plan to cut some friends and family off their Christmas present lists altogether or make instead of buy them presents. Most consumers, especially women, are determined to get value for money and plan to spend less on presents. Many will use gift vouchers that they have been given to buy presents for others and 15% will even resort to recycling presents that they have been given.

Brad King, Managing Director of, a leading online credit card and personal finance marketplace, commented: “The credit crunch will not be a barrier to most people enjoying Christmas this year. In the current climate consumers have learnt to become savvier when it comes to shopping – searching for the best possible deal and being creative with their money to make it go further.”

How will people pay for Christmas?

The survey results suggest that most people have budgeted well for Christmas this year and are not prepared to spend beyond their means. Almost 80% of those asked will be paying for Christmas with cash and less than 25% will rely on credit cards to fund their festivities. The younger generation is least likely to use credit cards with almost 20% of 16 – 24 year olds prepared to dip into their savings to avoid using credit. Of those planning to spend on a credit card this Christmas most are keeping expenditure low with less than 30% planning to put more than £200 on it.

Brad King highlights a potential pitfall with this approach to spending; “It’s fantastic that people are not prepared to let Christmas put them in debt, however, consumers should also be aware of the implications of section 75. Using a credit card for high priced purchases is a good way of protecting yourself during these uncertain financial times when businesses are more likely to collapse. To avoid any extra charges, all consumers need to ensure is that they have the means to pay their credit card bill in full at the end of the month.”