Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"Sorry mate, you're off my Christmas list!"

NEWPORT, Wales, December 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

- Friends miss out as a third of Brits trim their Christmas present list

Work friends and old school friends most likely to miss out
5 per cent of brothers are off the list as are 7 per cent of in-laws
Brits set to spend average of £528 on Christmas presents
One in five will go overdrawn or rely on credit card debt

A third of Brits have reduced the number of people they plan to buy presents for this year, crossing off an average three people from their Christmas list. Friends are top of the list of those most likely to be dropped, as hard-pressed consumers look at ways of trimming their festive budgets, while Granddad's and Grandma's presents look the most secure.

The new research into Christmas spending plans, commissioned by price comparison website, found that on average we will spend £528 buying gifts for 10 people. While 70 per cent expect to spend the same amount or more as last year, 30 per cent were looking to reduce the amount they paid out for presents and trimming the number of people on the list was one way to save money.

Over half (56 per cent) of those looking to cut back would drop friends from their list, while only 31 per cent would remove family members. When it comes to family, the in-laws are the most likely to get crossed off the lists (7 per cent), followed by brothers (5 per cent) and sisters (3 per cent), nephews and cousins (both 3 per cent) and nieces (2 per cent). However, less than 1 per cent said they would leave Granddad or Grandma without a present.

Affordability (61 per cent) was the main reason given for reducing the number of people on gifts lists, 16 per cent weren't planning to buy presents for people who no longer bought them one, while 14 per cent had removed people from their shopping list because they had either fallen out or had lost contact with them.

When asked how they expect to pay for Christmas this year, half of those surveyed will meet the cost from their everyday income or savings, 26 per cent have saved up a specific 'Christmas fund', while one in five people will either go overdrawn or put the cost of Christmas on a store or credit card.

Jeremy Cryer,'s head of credit cards commented, "Christmas is traditionally a time of year when friends and family gather together to celebrate and exchange gifts. However, the festive season can add a significant burden on those who are already struggling to make ends meet. Worryingly, our survey reveals that 20 per cent of us will either go overdrawn or run up credit or store card debts simply to pay for Christmas presents.

"Much of the money owed on plastic cards is made up of the interest charged on the debt, so a good way to reduce the post Christmas financial hangover is to switch credit and store card debts to a 0% balance transfer deal. Consider transferring your debt balance to a card with an extended interest free period - these usually charge a small balance transfer fee of around 3% which will initially be added to the debt but it is still worth it if you can get 0% interest for 22 months*."

Jeremy continued, "Another option is to switch your balance to a card with a low interest rate for the lifetime of the balance transferred. This will immediately reduce the interest rate until the debt is completely paid off. This may be a better option if you're unlikely to pay off a significant part of your debt during a 0% interest free period.

"In the majority of cases any new purchases made using a credit card will be charged at the card issuer's standard interest rate until it is paid off so once you've switched your balance, it is a good idea to keep that card purely for the benefits of the 0% or low rate deal.

"Finally, don't forget that the longer you take to repay the debt, the more money you will owe as card issuers add interest to any outstanding balance. So, try to pay more than the minimum repayment each month and you will be debt-free sooner rather than later."

Notes to Editors:

Research commissioned by Carried out with 3,000 UK adults at the end of November 2011 by OnePoll Research.

*Based on the Barclaycard Platinum Visa Card which currently offers 0% for 22 months for balance transfers subject to a 2.9% handling fee. launched in November 2006 to help people find the right insurance cover at the right price. It was founded by Hayley Parsons who has worked her entire career in the insurance broking and aggregator markets and was the first comparison site to focus on displaying product features rather than just listing prices. It was this philosophy that led to becoming the first price comparison site to be invited to join the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) in May 2008 and helped force older comparison sites to change their 'quick quote' ways and stop using assumptions to calculate estimated figures.

Today, provides one of the most comprehensive online car insurance comparison services in the UK as well as comparing home, pet, motorbike, van insurance and breakdown cover. is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.


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