Skip to main content

Brits plan to spend cautiously this festive season

7th December 2020



  • New research from TSB finds Brits are planning to be cautious on their spending this Christmas to avoid going into debt
  • Millennials are most likely to splash the cash this Christmas, despite being the group most worried about their finances
  • Looking ahead to the New Year, 29% of people are concerned about their finances, with over half (55%) keen to save more
  • Encouraging signs on savings habits as more than 26,000 savings pots have been set up in TSB Current Accounts in last three months

New research from TSB indicates 2020 might be the first Christmas where the majority of UK households stay in the black by using their income to fund Christmas (62%) rather than taking on debt. In comparison to last Christmas, when Brits borrowed £6.6bn² to fund festivities, TSB research reveals that this year, households are planning a more restrained approach to spending.

In what might therefore be seen as a rare financial silver lining to the pandemic, the findings show that only 19% plan to rely on a credit card.

Despite planning to spend less, over half (61%) of Brits say they are determined to have a great time with their loved ones this Christmas after a challenging year.

Pella Frost, Everyday Banking Director at TSB said:

“While many people will take a sensible approach to spending this Christmas, we know that others will be feeling the financial strain as they try to make the most of their Christmas celebrations. It can be tempting to put things on credit and worry about it later, but a much better Christmas gift is starting the New Year feeling more confident about your money.

“Our teams at TSB are committed to supporting our customers, with a range of productsthat build money confidence so they can get on with enjoying Christmas.

Money confidence

These findings come as TSB launches its new Money Confidence campaign, where trained colleagues are available by phone, video or face-to-face in branch, to support customers with their finances - helping them manage their money better and be more confident. The Bank has also launched a number of new products specifically aimed at customers who want to take more control of their finances. For example, its five-year Fix and Flex Mortgage offers customers the reassurance of a fixed rate without being tied in for too long. And the launch of TSB’s new Spend and Save account, helps customers manage their everyday finances with features such as savings pots, automatic spending roundups and text alerts.

Millennials most worried about their finances in 2021

TSB’s research reveals that 1 in 4 (23%) Brits feel worse off now than they did at the start of the pandemic and as we move into the new year, 29% of people say they are concerned about their finances.

This is particularly true of younger generations, with 2 in 5 (40%) millennials (those aged 18-34) saying they are worried they will not be able to buy the presents they want for their loved ones this year, compared to just 12% of over-55s. Almost a third of 18- 3 4 yr olds (30%) say they’re worried that Christmas spending will increase existing debt, whilst over 75% of over-55s were not concerned. A further 38% say they are concerned about their finances as we approach the new year, compared to just 18% of over-55s.

However, despite these worries, 3 in 5 (59%) millennials say they are determined to have a good time with loved ones this year, with 50% spending money on big ticket entertainment items, 71% spending money on clothes and 79% spending on socialising – higher than any other age group.

Brits vowing to save more this new year

With the new year approaching, TSB’s findings reveal that more than half (55%) of Brits want to save more in 2021.

Since TSB launched its new current account Spend and Save, over 26,000 savings pots have been opened with an average of £171 deposited in each pot, showing an encouraging sign that more customers are developing a savings habit as we approach the New Year.

To help people feel more money confident this Christmas and beyond, TSB is offering tips to help people better manage their money, no matter what their financial situation:

  • Audit of your finances and set a budget

    First, do a complete audit of your finances. This means looking at your incoming and outgoing funds. Look at your necessities such as bills as well as your nice-to-haves. In doing so, be strict with any unnecessary outgoings. For example, are you still going to the gym or would you benefit from free/cheaper home workouts? Have you reviewed any other monthly subscriptions like Netflix?

    With more people shopping online now, it’s very easy to add more items to your basket, so be strict and cut the impulse buying.

    Once you’ve conducted a full audit, set yourself a monthly and daily budget and keep a regular track of where your money is going. Keep on top of your balance by checking in with your mobile app, setting up text messages, logging onto IB or getting a balance update from the ATM. This will help take back control of your finances.

  • Look for better household bills

    There is no better time to look at your household bills and shop for better, cheaper deals. For example, when was the last time you changed energy providers, car and home insurance? Consider reviewing your mortgage payments too, you could be eligible to transfer to a different mortgage which could lower your repayments.

    Doing a comparison online is simple and easy to do. Shopping around could mean you save hundreds of pounds on an annual basis.

    Also, consider shopping at cheaper supermarkets and before food shopping, write a list of the things you need. This will cut any excess food bills. Look at supermarket brand alternatives too; so many of us are brand loyal but looking at different options means you could ease the pressure on your bank balance. Planning in advance will also help with any Christmas shopping, do your research on the gifts you’d like to buy to see where you can get the best/cheaper deal.

  • Consolidate debt and keep up with repayments

    If you find yourself in debt, clearing or consolidating your repayments will really help get your finances back on track. It’s worth shopping around for lower interest rate products so you’re paying more of your debt off. For example, transferring credit card bills on to one 0% card will be beneficial. Or consider consolidating your debt with a personal loan. Speak to your bank, they can assist you with the right products that suit each individual’s need.

  • Put money aside

    If you have any excess or spare cash left over, put money aside into a completely separate account or set up a ‘pot’ so you’re not tempted to dip into it. Working towards a specific goal is usually motivational. Think of these funds with a goal in mind, for example a holiday, new shoes or new phone. TSB’s Spend and Save account includes features like Save the Pennies which automatically rounds up every debit card payment made to the nearest pound so customers can put money aside - typically into a Savings Pot.

  • Ask for help, speak to your bank

    Most importantly, don’t suffer in silence. Talk to your bank. If you’re not sure where to start and need a hand with managing debt, your bank can help provide the right solutions for your needs.


Media Contacts


Avni Raval, Media Relations Manager
T: 07880 276 391 |

TSB Media Relations
T: 020 7003 9369 |
Follow us on twitter: @TSB_News


Notes to editors


Further information from the research:

  • ¹ TSB’s research is taken from a total sample size of 2,000 adults, nationally representative. The research was carried out in November 2020 by Opinium.
  • ² TSB’s research is taken from a total sample size of 2,000 adults, nationally representative. The research was carried out in January 2020 by Opinium.
  • ³ TSB internal data