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Christmas spending shock for Brits that refuse to compromise luxury lifestyle

10 December 2007
Four in ten UK consumers are concerned about spending too much during the festive season, yet Britons spend over £19 billion a year on 'treats' that they simply refuse to give up, according to Alliance and Leicester.

New research has revealed that 42 per cent of UK consumers are concerned about their spending in the run up to Christmas this year however, thanks to rising interest rates and escalating living costs, the average person's finances are being stretched to the limit.

The study from Alliance and Leicester has shown that UK consumer mentality has now firmly embedded itself in our culture with six in ten people considering bottled water and takeaways as a necessity rather than a special luxury to be savoured. More worrying still is that despite collectively spending over £19 billion a year on such things almost a third of people refuse to cut them out or even cut down on them. Yet simple measures, such as cutting back on the daily latttes to three a week could save a staggering £200 a year, money which could go towards Christmas savings.

Ross Dalzell, Manager for Savings at Alliance and Leicester, explains: “Times have changed and while concerns about expenditure are high, attitudes towards what we can or can’t go without in our daily lives are very different to ten years ago. Busy working lives may be responsible for creating a need for convenience, but also for reward, as we feel we deserve the little things that make our lives ‘easier’ and can’t go without them, even if we know we could do with the extra cash sometimes.”

The figures reveal that almost two million Brits buy takeaway hot drinks at least once a day while more than two and a half million will happily fork out for a taxi at least once a week, rather than taking public transport and a further six and a half million people buy lunch from a shop at least ‘several times a week’.

Such statistics would suggest that Brits are comfortably off yet despite such generous pending habits, more than a quarter of Brits claim that they can't cut down on their spending at all and a further third complain that they are unable to save regularly as they simply can't afford to, yet over a third of this figure said they would not be prepared to cut out their small luxuries.

Ross Dalzell continues: “This time of year puts our pockets under the most pressure but it is still possible to save without being a scrooge. No one wants to be a party pooper or miss out on any of the festive fun – so something has to give.

"It’s important that people continue to enjoy themselves, but to avoid a spending nightmare before Christmas they could look at their regular spending more closely and consider whether they could make some minor changes to their lifestyle, as it’s clear from our research that the savings could really add up," he adds.

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