By Daniel Hunter
As we head into the Christmas season, new research from VoucherCodes.co.uk reveals the real cost of holiday presents this year. While the holiday is typically an occasion to push the boat out, the pressure to give the perfect presents has two fifths of UK adults turning to credit cards, overdrafts and loans (41 per cent).
Worryingly, the number of those forced into debt has increased by six per cent from last year (35 per cent) and, twelve months later, around a fifth of UK adults are still struggling to pay off the debts incurred from Christmas 2012 (17 per cent).
Welsh shoppers are the least likely to see red from Yuletide purchases with only a fifth using unsecured debt (22 per cent) while Londoners and consumers from the West Midlands will suffer the most with over half (56 per cent) spiraling into debt to keep up with present purchases.
Picking something out for your partner can be a tricky task but gift-buying is more precarious for men with almost half getting into debt over it (46 per cent) compared to 38 per cent of savvier women.
Vouchercodes.co.uk also found how generous Brits are, with the average consumer spending £240 on Christmas presents this year. The North West of the country is the most generous region spending an average of £265 while East Anglians came out the thriftiest spending £200.
Interestingly 18 - 24 year olds were the smartest savers with two thirds nurturing a nest egg for Christmas gifts (67 per cent) while just 26 per cent of over 45s squirrel away cash for Christmas in advance.
Anita Naik, lifestyle editor of Vouchercodes.co.uk comments: "The escalating cost of Christmas can unfortunately leave many miserable over the thought of being a Scrooge; however, consumers should remember that the joy of the holiday season comes from spending time with friends and family, not just exchanging gifts.
"However, showing appreciation of loved ones by giving presents can be as important to the provider as the receiver and the good news is that it does not need to break the bank. Although Christmas can be an expensive time of year there are many money saving ways to keep things affordable without having to compromise on quality. By always checking online for voucher codes and discounts, you are bound to find something for everyone without having to blow your budget.
"Why not plan in advance and get online now so you can have a stress-free start to Christmas and have your loved ones guessing what awaits them under the tree!"
Join us on