UK households are feeling especially generous this Christmas

There has been an increase in the number of households who intend to spend more on Christmas than last year, according to a new survey from Legal & General

Legal & General’s latest MoneyMood survey has revealed that, despite tough economic conditions, households in the UK are feeling more generous than last year. What makes this more remarkable is the fact that the number of people who “can’t afford Christmas” remains unchanged.

The survey found that almost 1 in 5 households (18%) expect to increase the amount they spend on presents - the figure is now at the highest level since the MoneyMood survey began monitoring Christmas expectations in 2010.

When this figure is combined with the number of homes who say they will spend the same as last year, the majority of households (67%) say they will spend the same or more than last year - a 7% increase on the previous year’s survey.

However, when asked about their ability to pay for Christmas, only just over half (57%) of households said that they have enough money to pay for presents and celebrations. The number of people struggling to cover the cost of Christmas hasn’t changed for three years, with 1.6 million households saying that they “can’t afford to buy presents and pay for celebrations this year”. The regions with the highest percentage of struggling households were London and the East Midlands.

John Pollock, chief executive officer at Legal & General Assurance Society, was keen to emphasise the positive news:

“At this festive time of year it’s nice to be able to bring some good news about household spending,”

“Clearly it’s not all good cheer. The number of households saying they can’t afford to pay for Xmas has been constant at 1.6 million for three years now. In many regions there is some positive news and the number of households struggling to pay for presents has fallen compared to last year.”

As “Cyber Monday”, one of the biggest online shopping days of the year, draws to a close, many families will now be reassessing their budgets for the rest of the Christmas period. Today’s findings highlight the importance of careful household budgeting at what is often an expensive time of year.