The economic mood may seem more positive this year with recent budget cuts, big International tech companies moving to our shores in droves, and new shops and restaurants popping up in our cities every week, but with rents rocketing and families still squeezed to the max with childcare, people are not spending as much this Christmas.
It sure is an expensive time for families – presents for kids and their expectations can put huge pressure on families. According to a new Annual Spending survey carried out by the Irish league of Credit Unions (ILCU), which surveyed 1,000 men and women, the average bill will be €563 this year, compared to €600 in last year’s survey. €167 of this will be on children’s presents.
This average is slightly more than reported by Aviva, in another frequent survey, which stated the average household will spend €500.
According to the Irish League of Credit Unions, only three in ten people feel upbeat about their financial situation over Christmas, it seems. The biggest spenders? Leinster (not including Dublin), who will spend an average of €597, Dubliners will spend €544 and Connaught and Ulster an average of €510.
Ed Farrell of the ILCU warned of people getting into debt over the Christmas period and using moneylenders to get by, adding that Christmas is a time for giving, “not robbing the family finances.” They have urged people to approach the Credit Union instead if they feel they need to use a moneylender to get by.
His advice is for: “Setting a Christmas spending budget is more important now than ever, as is writing a list.” and went on to say. “Starting early to avoiding getting caught up in panic buying can really help keep costs low and provide the family member sufficient time to search for the best deal.”
70 per cent feel worse about their financial situation compared to last year’s survey, while 65 per cent of the survey reported they will still enjoy the festive period, despite being slightly more prudent, however, it will take consumers an average of eight and a half weeks to recover financially from the festive period.
The report is in pretty stark contrast to the 2012 survey, which reported 81 per cent of people feeling dismayed about their financial woes, so in the grand scheme of things, we’re in a slightly better mood about things, with 68 per cent also adding that there is nothing nicer than a proper Irish Christmas.
We agree, there is nothing nicer than a family get-together over mulled wine and Christmas lights.
Do you agree? Tell us how much you spend on average at Christmas and if you feel this year is different to previous years for you and your family? @HerFamilydotie on Twitter.