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Nearly half worry they won’t be able to afford Christmas


A new survey has revealed 42% of people are worried they won’t be able to afford Christmas this year, with 58% saying they think this will be the most expensive Christmas they have ever had.

32% say they started shopping earlier this year to try and spread the cost with 10% starting in August, 8% in September and 14% in October – with 34% spending £500 or more extra this month on presents.

Worryingly, the survey, conducted by financial comparison experts Quotezone.co.uk, found a third had gone without essentials, such as food, heating or electricity, in order to save for Christmas.

When asked about the dinner itself, two-thirds (66%) said it will be the most expensive Christmas dinner they have ever prepared, with 32% saying the costs are likely to increase by under £50, 19% saying it is likely to be over £50 and 8% saying the costs are likely to increase by more than £100.

Shockingly 43% said that guests coming to their house for Christmas dinner don’t normally bring a contribution such as additional food or a gift voucher – to help the host with the cost of the special day.

Financial comparison experts at Quotezone.co.uk have revealed some tips on how to find savings during this expensive season.

10 ways to save for Christmas:

  1. Check how competitive your suppliers are – across gas, electricity, phone and internet and see if there are savings to be had from switching or renegotiating.
  2. Review all direct debits and cancel any non-essentials you can live without this month.
  3. Do your research on Christmas gifts by checking out reviews and customer feedback, checking competitor prices, delivery charges and timings – some stores and third party apps allow you to spread the cost if you need a little more time to pay – just be careful to read the terms, late payments often have hefty fees.
  4. If you have particular retail outlets or ecommerce sites in mind for your Christmas shopping, consider signing up for their mailing lists – many retailers offer exclusive discount codes for their subscribers.
  5. Check online voucher discount sites to see if any extra discounts are applicable.
  6. Also many sites have rewards offers so you could be in for further savings.
  7. Explore relatively inexpensive energy saving tips for your house such as draft excluders, window seals and energy efficient lighting.
  8. Check what deals are available for credit cards, there could be an opportunity for people with good credit histories to transfer their balances to a new 0% APR credit card – note there is normally a time limit here before the interest rate starts to rise.
  9. Look to make extra cash by selling any unused items and clothes online, there are lots of handy apps that help you repurpose items easily.
  10. Don’t just auto-renew insurance policies – use price comparison websites to shop around and make sure you’re not over or under insured by checking the policy details are actually what you need.

Greg Wilson, CEO of Quotezone.co.uk comments: “The cost-of-living crisis is creating a worrying time for most households as nearly two-thirds brace for their most expensive Christmas yet.

“If people are struggling to cut costs, there are a variety of approaches to consider, from ensuring they’re not overpaying on bills, to cancelling non-essential direct debits and using discounts, cash back and vouchers.

“These may seem like small changes but if they’re applied right across the household budget, it could add up and help people discover savings they didn’t know they had this Christmas.”

Quotezone.co.uk helps families find savings on everything from energy bills to personal loans. 


Quotezone.co.uk’s findings are based on a randomised survey of 2,000 respondents across the UK during October 2023, which represents a margin of error of approximately 5% at a 95% confidence level.

Full Survey Results

Do you worry you won’t be able to afford Christmas this year?
Not applicable6%
Do you pick up any extra work around Christmas time to help pay for the cost of Christmas?
Not applicable23%
Do you think this Christmas will be the most expensive you’ve experienced yet?
Not applicable5%
Do you think this Christmas dinner will be the most expensive you’ve ever prepared?
Yes – likely to increase by under £5032%
Yes – likely to increase by over £5019%
Yes – likely to increase by £1008%
Yes – likely to increase by £1503%
Yes – likely to increase by £200 or more4%
Not applicable13%
Do guests coming to Christmas dinner in your house bring a contribution? (Eg. some food or a gift voucher to help cover the expense)
Not applicable30%
Have you started Christmas shopping earlier this year to try and save money?
Yes – August10%
Yes – September8%
Yes – October14%
Yes – November12%
Not applicable4%
How much do you normally spend on presents at Christmas? (in total)
Under £10013%
Over £10011%
Over £20016%
Over £30019%
Over £50019%
Over £7506%
Over £10009%
Not applicable8%
Have you had to forgo any essentials this year (heating, electricity, food) to try and save for Christmas?
Not applicable5%
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This article is intended as generic information only and is not intended to apply to anybody’s specific circumstances, demands or needs. The views expressed are not intended to provide any financial service or to give any recommendation or advice. Products and services are only mentioned for illustrative rather than promotional purposes.