Almost a third of households are braced for a tight Christmas

By Richard Jenkins
Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 7:48 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 7:52 pm

A study of 2,000 adults found 30 per cent are planning to cut the amount they usually splurge on gifts, food, drink and parties during the festive season. 

And this is a direct result of increasing living costs - including higher energy bills – which 37 per cent claim have ‘gotten out of hand’. 

Commissioned by Samsung to highlight how Christmas can be more financially manageable, the study found 29 per cent have ‘no idea’ how to reduce or control their energy bills.

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Teg Dosanjh, Director of Connected Services and Technology, Samsung UK and Ireland, said: “Millions of Brits say they’re cutting back on their spending this Christmas due to various pressures.

“Which is a stark warning that more conscious budgeting is likely to become a new way of life in 2022. 

“In addition to the traditional costs around hosting and gifting, rising energy prices and general energy usage is a huge factor of this. 

“Historically, this is one area we’ve not been able to control, which is emphasised by a third saying they don’t know what steps to take in the right direction."

“We hope this level of control will mean people can focus on the things that matter this holiday - spending quality time with loved ones.”

 Average spending 

The study found those polled would expect to splash out an average of £25 per guest per day if hosting – specifically on entertaining and feeding them.

But this doesn’t include ‘invisible costs’ of hosting - like having the heating on for longer, cooking more food than usual or using more electronic devices.

On this note, 62 per cent claim their energy bills have increased dramatically during the past 12 months - with 14 per cent facing annual bills of up to £1,200 for electricity alone. 

Lisa Conway Hughes, independent financial advisor, said: “The nation has a pent-up desire to splurge on Christmas festivities, but household costs are mounting up with rising energy costs, food prices, tax hikes and cuts to credit. 

“Over the last 18 months, one in five people have even missed payments on their energy bills.

“But the good news is that Christmas doesn’t need to be excessively trimmed if people get on track with money management.”

Festive expenditure  

It also emerged that while there are many who have been left with no choice but to cut their festive expenditure, 27 per cent don’t think they will need to – because they’ve been putting money aside all year. 

While 22 per cent have managed to save money by finding items such as food and gifts at reduced prices.

Teg Dosanjh added: “Christmas shouldn’t be about compromise. We want people to enjoy time with friends and family without the anxiety of hidden costs in the background.

“With talk of an energy price cap increase in 2022, it’s encouraging to see that 40 per cent of Brits said one of their New Year’s methods for ‘turning things around financially’ would be having better control over household expenditure. 

“We hope services like SmartThings Energy can make a small difference to helping them achieve this goal, and ultimately, taking the right steps to reduce their household energy consumption.”