Xmas Effects on People's Finances


Two thirds of people struggle to afford Christmas and a third expecting to borrow for it

A survey by Step Change has revealed that nearly a third (31%) of Brits celebrating Christmas will borrow to pay for it;


  • UK will take an average of seven and a half months to pay back Christmas debts
  • Nearly seven in 10 will not be able to comfortably afford Christmas
  • A quarter of the UK will use a ‘buy now, pay later’ scheme this Christmas with over a third of 16-34-year-olds planning to use one


New data reveals the effect of Christmas on people’s finances, with nearly seven in 10 (68%) unable to comfortably afford this festive season and nearly a third turning to credit to help fund Christmas shopping.


A quarter (25%) intended use a ‘buy now, pay later’ scheme. This rises to a third (36%) among 16-34 year olds, a demographic more likely to have insecure or irregular income, which can put them at greater risk of problem debt.

According to the survey, those who intend on using credit for Christmas say they will take an average of seven and a half months to pay back debts after the Christmas period, meaning their payments won’t be settled until late summer 2020.


A third (34%) of those surveyed said they will have to cut their spending this year to afford Christmas, and 17% stated they would struggle to make ends meet. People will be cutting back on things such as takeaways (32%), nights out (26%) and even on their household food shopping (16%).