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12 days of Christmas will cost Brits an additional £650

15 Dec 2014

YouGov survey reveals the unexpected cost of Christmas takes total spend to £1,400

The average British household will splash out an additional £650 this Christmas to cover the unexpected cost of the 12 days following Christmas Day, a report published by first direct reveals.

The research found that Brits expect to spend an average of £330 over the ‘12 days of Christmas’.  However, a detailed analysis of their stated plans suggests they will actually pay out almost double that amount.

The findings are revealed in a YouGov survey of more than 2,000 adults for telephone and online bank first direct , which also carried out further in-depth research with families around Britain.

Based on people’s plans for the 12 days of Christmas, the average £650 cost per household – equivalent to more than 40 medium-sized turkeys – includes:

  • Post-Christmas food shopping   £109
  • Drinks and trips to the pub   £99
  • Eating out   £204
  • January sales shopping   £120
  • Travel and visiting family  £121

This is in addition to what the average household spends in the run up to the big day on gifts decoration and food - which came to around £750[1] in 2013 – and takes the total cost of the festive period to over £1,400.

Despite saving up for food and drink, presents, travel and parties in the run up to Christmas Day, the research reveals that 85 per cent of Brits hadn’t saved anything to cover the costs during the 12 days that follow Christmas Day.

Zoe Shore, Head of Marketing at first direct , said: “We know we will have to splash out on gifts, decorations and the Christmas dinner, but we found that the majority of us don’t account for what goes on after Christmas Day and the sum of all those small spends – a meal out here, and bottle of wine there.

“With schools and many employers not re-opening until 5 January, Christmas will become a two-week holiday for a lot of people, and that means extra expense which, we found 85 per cent of people haven’t budgeted for.”

With the study finding that the actual cost of the 12 days comes to double what families expect, first direct has created a free mobile app, ‘Saveapp’, to help consumers resist the temptations of everyday spending and save towards their bigger savings goals.

“The personal reminders and prompts that Saveapp provides will help keep the cost of Christmas front of mind at the most tempting places and times throughout the day,” Zoe added.

The first direct research also revealed that:

  • Brits will travel an average of 86 miles over the 12 Days of Christmas – as well as making journeys on public transport
  • Families will make an average of four visits to family and friends, taking an additional token or thank you gift for each visit
  • They will also eat out an average of five times over the 12 days and make three trips to the pub
  • Four out of ten plan to shop at the sales between Boxing Day and 5 January, spending an average of £60 per person
  • Scots expect to spend the most on food over that period, averaging almost £123 per household
  • People in Yorkshire plan to splash out the most at the sales, averaging more than £81 each


For any media enquiries please contact:

Amanda Brown or Rebecca Sykes on 0113 276 6700 /

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