York & North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire tops Christmas spending poll

Father Christmas holding a piggy bank Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption The average cost of Christmas for people across Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and North Derbyshire is expected to be £463.83

People in North Yorkshire are likely to spend more money at Christmas than those in the rest of the region and Lincolnshire, a survey suggests.

The average spend on presents, food and drink is expected to be £508.82, with 25% saying they may spend up to £1,000.

People in Lincolnshire will spend the least, £433.16 on average.

Across the county, North Derbyshire and Lincolnshire, 50% of people surveyed for the BBC said they were concerned about the cost of Christmas.

Concern is highest amongst those aged 18-34 and those with children under 18.

Despite the fears, just 1% of people in North Yorkshire said they would need to borrow money to foot the festive bill while 5% said they may consider borrowing.

'Financial hangover'

Jane Symonds, money expert at the Money Advice Service said: "Christmas can be an expensive time of year, but it's important to know that you don't have to live beyond your means to make it a fun time. A big financial hangover is the last thing anyone wants to start the new year with.

"Planning ahead by looking carefully at costs will help you to take control of your spending and reduce some of the pressure. It's best to avoid credit if you can, but if you need to borrow there are more options if you think ahead."

Across all areas surveyed of those planning to borrow 68% said they would use their credit card, 18% plan to ask friends and family for help, 18% will use their overdraft, 6% will go to a pay day lender, 6% will take out a loan, and 2% say they will go to a credit union.

On average people said they expected to borrow about £180.

Men said they were likely to borrow on average £214.76, while women said they expected to borrow about £146.36.

More than half of all borrowers said it would take them between a few weeks to a year to repay their debt.

How concerned are you about the cost of Christmas? Very or Fairly Concerned Not Very or Not At All Concerned
West Yorkshire 50% 50%
South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire 52% 48%
North Yorkshire 47% 53%
East Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire 46% 54%
Lincolnshire 52% 48%
All 50% 50%
How likely are you to borrow to cover the cost? Yes, definitely Yes, probably No, probably not No, definitely not
West Yorkshire 4% 11% 13% 70%
South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire 3% 10% 17% 69%
North Yorkshire 1% 5% 16% 75%
East Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire 1% 6% 20% 70%
Lincolnshire 1% 6% 15% 76%
All 3% 9% 15% 72%

Kevin Peachey, personal finance reporter, BBC News

Financial advisers say it is never too late to draw up a budget for your Christmas spending.

Those who get into trouble often forget to factor in those little extras that add to the festive bill.

So, as well as presents, food and travel, advisers urge families not to ignore the cost of replacing decorations, calling relatives and even taking the children to Santa's grotto.

They suggest shopping around on the internet for all these things to get the best deal.

Those who turn to credit may be deferring the pain, but missing repayments in the new year could start or continue a debt spiral that may be difficult to pull out of.

Instead, advisers say, keep things under control this year, and start saving now to bring some Christmas 2015 cheer to your family and your finances.

Market research agency ComRes interviewed 1,270 people across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, of which 501 were in West Yorkshire, 305 were in South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire, 335 in North Yorkshire, 179 in East Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire and 189 in Lincolnshire.

The online survey was carried out for BBC Radio York between 27 November and 1 December.

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