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Over 1.5m households can't afford Christmas and three out of 10 plan to spend less on Christmas presents according to Legal & General's MoneyMood Survey.

21 November 2011

The latest MoneyMood Survey from Legal & General shows that three out of 10 (31%) of UK households say they will spend less on Christmas this year, with around half (51%) expecting to restrict their spending to no more than last year.

Click on the link to the right to see the chart showing how many households say they will be spending more, less or about the same on presents as last year - MoneyMood Survey ®

Commenting on these findings Mark Gregory, Legal & General Executive Director Savings said; “Last month we reported that a million households are worse off now than they were just one year ago. So it comes as perhaps no surprise that in the current economic climate eight out of 10 homes say they’re planning to curb spending on presents compared to last year.

Our latest research suggests that households are taking a sensible approach to spending with only one in five (20%) saying that they intend to use a credit card to pay for Xmas.  This is considerably lower than our survey last year where around a third (32%) of households were planning to use a credit card to pay for the festivities. Perhaps this reflects a more prudent attitude to credit card debt in these straightened times.”

Over 1.5 million can’t afford Christmas:

The MoneyMood survey also asked households to describe their ability to pay for Christmas. The results indicate that, nationwide, more than one and a half million (1.6m) households say they “Can’t afford to buy presents and pay for celebrations this year”. Another 3.3 million households claim they will probably have to use a credit card to pay some of the cost.

“Christmas expense cover” - regional differences:

Mark added: “Across the nation, only two thirds of households (67%) say they have enough money to pay for presents and celebrations over the festivities. However, how much “Christmas expense cover” households have appears to depend on where you live.

London and the West Midlands appear to be the regions struggling the most to pay for Christmas. These two regions recorded the lowest Christmas expense cover threshold with only 6 out of 10 households saying they have enough money to pay for Christmas. The North of England appears to be the region showing the highest “Christmas expense cover” with 8 out of 10 households with enough money for Christmas.”

Click on the link to the right to see the chart showing regional variances in how many households say they have enough money to pay for presents and celebrations this year - MoneyMood Survey ®

Regional Data:

Can't afford Christmas
RegionPopulation (million)% TotalTotal
Households (million)
With Christmas expense
Can’t afford Christmas
N West6.911.02.31,587,00014%322
Yorks and Humberside5.38.51.81,152,0009%162
E Midlands4.57.51.61,232,0003%48
W Midlands5.49.01.81,080,0008%144
East Anglia5.89.02.01,440,0006%120
S East8.414.02.91,865,0008%232
S West5.28.01.71,173,00013%221
N Ireland1.83.00.6Not AuditedN/AN/A


Source – Office for National statistics 2010, Legal & General Estimates, MoneyMood survey.

Notes to editors

Survey - methodology:
Research for the Legal & General MoneyMood Survey was carried out by TNS Omnibus.  Telephone interviews were conducted among a nationally representative sample (in GB) of around 1,000 adults (age 18+) between 3-5 December 2010 and 23-25 September 2011.

The Legal & General MoneyMood Survey ® (registered by Legal & General Group plc).

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