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Christmas spending cutbacks as parents feel the pinch Go compare with our comparison table

Christmas spending cutbacks as parents feel the pinch

14 December 2009 / by Andy Davies

Parents feeling the pinch of the recession are planning to cut back on the amount of presents they buy for their children this Christmas, according to

New research by the comparison website has revealed that 56 per cent of people are going to buy fewer presents, while 45 per cent are going to cut back on how much they spend on food and drink.

Meanwhile, in a bid to save money over the festive season, nearly four out of five people said they would look for bargains and sale items as gifts this year.

Expensive gifts such as the latest gadgets will be off the shopping list for 44 per cent of people, while 10 per cent of respondents said they would buy more traditional gifts, such as board games.

However, while many parents have said they will buy fewer gifts this Christmas, only 32 per cent of those who are going to spend less intend to tell their children the reason why, while just over a quarter of parents optimistically hope their children do not notice the cutbacks.

This has led to claim that parents are "missing a golden opportunity" to explain the financial facts of life to their children.

Commenting, Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at, said that despite many households planning ahead and saving for Christmas this year, four in ten people are going to experience financial worry in the New Year as a result of Christmas spending.

"That's why it's so important that children understand the concept of cutting back too – explaining what a tighter family budget can mean and getting children involved is a vital part of their development.

"Shielding them from the impact of the recession this Christmas or just hoping they won't notice is not doing them any favours – understanding money, budgets and spending will set them up for the future," she said.  

Ms Robinson added that people should continue to enjoy Christmas, "but in a more simple and honest way".

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