Number of the Day – 28th May

Over 13 million Brits have already started their Christmas shopping

  • Across the UK a quarter (25%) of people have already hit the shops to buy items for the festive period
  • Almost a third of Brits (30%) won’t start their shopping until December
  • 11% of men will panic buy in the final countdown to Christmas Day

Summer is just around the corner, but many Brits have already started thinking about the most wonderful time of the year, with a quarter having already ticked things off the festive shopping list in order to beat the Christmas cost crunch and crowds later in the year. Across the UK this equates to over 13 million people.

Research from The Share Centre has found people in the UK are planning to spend on average over £1,000 (£1,007) over the Christmas period, on items such as tinsel, travel, train sets and the all-important turkey.

While a generous 6% of Brits sleigh they intend to spend over £700 on gifts for loved ones, the average cost of finding the perfect presents is £234. For those savvy elves who’ve already started filling Santa’s sack, they could see the cost of their spending on gifts reduced to just £34 a month by buying little and often, spreading this over June to December.

Those aged 18-34 are the most likely to adopt the strategy of buying all their Christmas items early, with over a quarter (27%) having already started to buy their festive fare with the intention of spreading the cost throughout the year.

7% of those asked are set to be dashing through the shops in the final countdown to the big day as they tick everything off their shopping list. This rises to 11% of men, compared to just 5% of women.

However, the most popular time to buy items for Christmas is in the final quarter of the year, with 45% opting to spend on friends and family between October and December.

Lucinda Gregory, investment research manager at The Share Centre comments: “With Christmas now costing an average of £1,000, it makes sense to stagger the cost and start shopping now. A quarter of us appear to do this – though there will always be those who leave it until Christmas Eve! Expensive events like Christmas are investments and contributing little and often can help investors receive the best returns, with no last minute, overpriced panic buys. In much the same way, drip feeding little and often to stocks and shares can see the best returns.

“Even better, start investing now and perhaps see the returns pay for some of those Christmas gifts! It’s a common misconception that you need a lot of money to invest but this simply isn’t the case. The Share Centre’s stocks and shares ISAs can be opened with relatively small contributions, meaning investing small amounts at a time can still mean you reap the benefits.”

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