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Forget your budgets, it’s Christmas time

Brits prove they are no Scrooge when it comes to enjoying the festive period

Despite uncertainty surrounding the current economic climate, one in four Brits get caught up in the festivities of the holiday season and spend more than they budgeted during Christmas, according to research carried out by accounting software firm Accountz.

The survey identified that when it comes to Christmas the average consumer starts off with good intentions of saving money and budgeting for the holiday season but don’t end up sticking to it. The results showed that an average 58 per cent of people plan to budget for Christmas, and 86 per cent said that they would spend the same or less than last year.

However, with retailers offering cut price deals and incredible special offers in order to drive sales, the results suggest that the budgets go out the window and people clamber for the must have gift.

Key findings include:

– Over 50 per cent (56%) are planning on paying for Christmas on their credit cards, despite the continued challenging economic climate

– Only 37 per cent of Brits actually save for Christmas over the year

– Despite this 40 per cent of those questioned do have a budget in mind and spend to that limit

– And yet a quarter of us continue to spend over and above any budget we may have set

– And a staggering 33 per cent have absolutely no idea how much the festive season will cost!

Quentin Pain, chairman and founder of Accountz, stated: “In the run up to Christmas, people always start off with the good intention of budgeting for the holidays. This will take into account the food, the presents and any other costs associated. However, as we get closer and closer we all start to get a little loose with the purse strings. Whether it be needing to buy more food to cater for more family that are coming to visit, or buying that must have present that your loved one can’t live without, we all fall into the trap of embracing the season and spending more than we sometimes have available.”

Quentin is quick to point out that credit cards are a quick fix option when looking for extra money during Christmas, however, long term issues can arise when it comes to paying them off.

“During Christmas a lot of people fall into the trap of getting caught up in the spirit of the season and end up spending more than they have available, usually using their credit card as a last resort when it comes to doing that last bit of shopping. The issue with this is that it can put people straight into the red at the start of the year, when all they needed to do was exercise a little budget control. Home Accountz is a way that can support this. It is a simple, speedy and efficient way of empowering you to look after finances in the run up to the Christmas period, allowing you piece of mind during the holidays. We also offer an iPhone app, Mobile Accountz Lite, which allows you to stay on top of finances while on the move.”