The cost of Christmas

This is according to a report from the protection specialist Bright Grey, The Salary Gap, which looks at expenditure against income for adults in the UK. It shows the average Briton will spend almost 65% more of their income during the festive period than at any other time in the year to fund their living expenses.

With a typical average monthly spend of £362 on living expenses, this increase means consumers will be spending an average of £598 per month in October November and December, equating to almost half (45%) of the average monthly wage of £1,346 (net income).

Men are set to spend the most this Christmas, reaching an average £661 per month for October, November and December, compared to women who are set to spend £543 on average per month.

The most common reason for overspending at Christmas is that ‘I will feel guilty if I do not give my family/children everything they ask for (35%), with another 35% stating that the level of spending over Christmas is ‘just because I have to'.

Worryingly, one in seven (14%) who spend more than they can afford and fall into debt state it's ‘just because they are hopeless with money'. There are also those who are driven to overspend through guilt, with 8% doing so, so their family thinks they can afford it and 7% of people to show they are able to keep up their lifestyle.

Roger Edwards, proposition director at Bright Grey said: "Christmas is a strain on nearly every household's finances. However even with a little planning throughout the year consumers will get to enjoy what Father Christmas brings them and they will not have to worry about the credit card bill or bank statement the postman will deliver.

"Planning ahead for not only Christmas, but the future, can help every household for those unexpected events or those fun festivities. Purchasing protection, for example, could mean that by reducing your outgoings by as little as 5% you will protect the remainder of your 95% outgoings and more importantly maintain your lifestyle."