Have you started to plan your Christmas shopping yet?

With 71 days to go until Christmas, have you made any spending plans? New research from MoneySuperMarket has found that we plan to spend, on average, 21% more on Christmas this year.

However, we feel nervous about this hike in planned Christmas spending.

The findings suggest a renewed consumer confidence following the lifting of pandemic restrictions, with an average planned Christmas spend of £621.

Last year, we spent an average of £512 on Christmas.

However, a growing number of people are feeling pressure to spend more than they can afford on the festive season, with 26% feeling this way, up from 11% last year.

The average amount people plan to spend on each child this Christmas has also increased, from £144 last year to £161 this year.

A third of people plan to pay for Christmas spending with their disposable income, with 28% planning to use their savings and 12% putting the cost on their credit card.

Despite its growing popularity, only 2% said they will use buy now pay later schemes to fund their Christmas spending.

The most popular way to buy things this Christmas is still online, with 53% of respondents saying they will buy goods online, up from 46% last year.

Only 26% of respondents said they plan to buy things locally.

Regarding budgeting, 40% of respondents said they would not set a budget, although they say they will not let spending get out of hand. 20% will establish a budget before they start their Christmas shopping.

Jo Thornhill, money expert at MoneySuperMarket, said:

“It’s clear that after last year’s difficult festive period, many Brits are looking forward to celebrating Christmas with gusto this year, with average overall spending expected to be up substantially.

“But at the same, the pressure to spend is an issue for many Brits with over a quarter citing this to be the case.

“After a difficult two years where contact between family and friends has been limited, it’s not surprising that many are looking to the Christmas break with added excitement, but this doesn’t mean you have to break the bank.”