The average British consumer will spend almost half their monthly salary on Christmas, and many won't pay off debts until March

Courtney Goldsmith
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Christmas with the Chimps in West Palm Beach
One in three regret the amount they've spent on Christmas. (Source: Getty)

By March, Christmas is the last thing on your mind. But one in five British consumers are still paying off Christmas gifts three months or more down the line.

The average shopper is set to spend almost half their monthly pay on Christmas, and 6 per cent will spend in excess of a month's salary, a new study reports.

The average amount to spend on Christmas is £646, which snowballs to a shocking £33bn nationally every year, the Nationwide Christmas Spending Report shows.

Read more: High street braced for Santa dash

And with one in three Brits relying on charging presents, food, booze and whatever else crops up to their credit cards or overdraft, it's really no surprise that many suffer financially for months to come, with 19 per cent needing three months or more to pay off their expenses.

One in three (37 per cent) regret the amount they've spent on Christmas.

Read more: Don't expect generous Christmas gifts from your London friends this year

Nationwide’s Head of Current Accounts, Phil Smith, had some words of wisdom: “Try to make the most of your festive budget by saving a little towards the extra costs in advance, spreading your purchases throughout the year and making the most of deals, vouchers and loyalty points."

Just one in 50 of those surveyed said they didn't spend anything on Christmas.

Who do we spend the most on?

  1. £145 on average on our children
  2. £117 on a partner or spouse
  3. £52 on parents and in-laws
  4. £34 on friends
  5. £31 on grandparents
  6. £22 on the family pet

What else are we buying?

  • £92 on gift wrapping
  • £81 or more on Christmas dinner
  • £12 on decorations
  • £10 on cards
  • £10 on Christmas crackers

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