25 November 2022

Many cutting back spending but still believe it’s the season to celebrate

  • Almost half of Brits (45%) expect to spend less this Christmas compared to last year due to the rising cost of living
  • TSB data shows some will increase use of Buy Now, Pay Later to pay for Christmas
  • Households with three or more children are almost twice as likely to use debt to pay for the festive celebrations than the national average (18% vs 10%)

Despite the cost-of-living crisis more than half of Brits (53%) are still looking forward to Christmas according to new research from TSB.

In the survey of 5,404 adults aged 18-75 in the UK, data shows that people are feeling the squeeze too, with six-in-10 (61%) feeling financially worse off now than they did a year ago. As a result, households are planning to be more prudent on their spending to celebrate Christmas or the festive period this year, with almost half (45%) intending to spend a little or much less and a further third (35%) planning to spend roughly the same amount as usual. Only 12% of people are planning to spend more than they did last year, while 5% don’t celebrate Christmas or the festive period around Christmas.

Over half (53%) plan to finance their festive spending from normal day-to-day expenditure, with a quarter (26%) using savings specifically set aside for Christmas. One-in-10 (10%) expect to use debt (loans, overdraft, buy now pay later, credit card to be paid back over time) to cover costs over the festive period, with those with children in the household more at risk (15%) than households without children (7%). TSB found that, on average, households with three or more children were almost twice as likely to take on debt than the national average, or almost three times as much than households without children (18% vs 10% vs 7%).

These findings come as TSB’s own data shows that the run up to Christmas is typically accompanied by a spike in the use of buy now, pay later (BNPL) services. Across all BNPL providers tracked by TSB, there was a 40% increase in the number of customer transactions seen in December 2021, compared to the number in October 2021.

Carol Anderson, Director, Branch Banking of TSB said:
“Christmas is clearly still a wonderful time of the year for most families, but the rising cost of living means many will be spending less than in previous years. Those using debt to help pay for Christmas should plan that carefully so they know they can afford the repayments, avoiding a new year hangover.”

Media Contacts

Avni Raval | Media Relations Manager, TSB
T: 07880 276 391 | avni.raval@tsb.co.uk

TSB Media Relations
T: 020 7003 9369

Notes to editors

  1. Online interviews among a nationally representative quota sample of 5,404 adults aged 18-75 in the UK carried out by Ipsos on behalf of TSB from 26th to 30th October 2022. Data weighted by age within gender, region, working status, social grade and education to a nationally representative profile of this audience. Results are based on the following subgroups:
    • Adults aged 18-75 in the UK (n=5,404)
    • Households with 3 or more children aged 17 or under in the household (n=198)
    • Households with no children aged 17 or under in the household (n=3,491)
  2. TSB is supporting customers with Cost-of-Living: 
    • We’ve provided support for customers with the new Money Worries page on tsb.co.uk and our Mobile Banking App.
    • We’ve launched our new cost-of-living training (Support Well) for customer-facing colleagues with over 1,000 hours of learning completed already. This ensures colleagues are equipped to support customers with budgeting, saving and managing debt.  
    • We continuing to assess the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on our existing customers (e.g. forecasting how many existing customers could slip into negative affordability) to ensure we support our customers appropriately on an individual basis.  
    • We’re also establishing early warning indicators to ensure we can help customers before they get into significant financial difficulty. We will contact customers who we think are most at risk of falling into arrears.  
The information contained in this press release is intended solely for journalists and should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions.