Brits to spend £1bn worth of work hours planning for Christmas

How to save on costs without sacrificing favourite holiday traditions

With less than a month to go for Christmas, a new research from online lender Sunny has found that the number of hours Brits spend planning for Christmas and buying gifts online while at work are worth £1bn, with over 15m Brits admitting to planning for Christmas during work hours.

Given that one in three (34 per cent) Brits have not yet started planning for the festivities, this figure is likely to increase.

Party planning

Christmas is one of the most anticipated holidays of the year and a huge amount of time is spent planning the details. Whether at work or at home, Sunny’s research demonstrates a clear gender divide, with women most likely to take on the task of planning for Christmas. Almost a third (31%) of men admit they don’t spend any time planning meals and a quarter (24%) say they don’t do any cooking or preparing of meals, compared to only one in seven (15%) women. Men also don’t make time for Christmas cards, with a fifth (20%) not giving any time to writing them versus fewer than one in ten (9%) women.

Savvy spending

Not only does Christmas take time to plan, it also takes money. Once again, the research shows women to be most thrifty and savvy. Over a quarter (26%) of women have re-gifted presents to save money at Christmas, compared to only 9% of men. This attempt to curb spending extends to shopping for the next Christmas in January sales, using coupons, and doing secret Santa:

Money saverMen who have tried thisWomen who have tried this
Shopped around online for gifts to make sure I’m getting the best deal35%51%
Started next year’s shopping in the January sales12%22%
Re-gifted presents9%26%
Used coupons/vouchers to buy food and drink for the Christmas period24%36%
Participated in secret Santa rather than gifting everyone7%16%

Festive finances

Although it is clear people spend a lot of time planning for Christmas, it appears the majority don’t plan the costs. Over two fifths (42%) of those who celebrate Christmas do not set a budget and one quarter (25%) say they only use their December pay to cover the cost of Christmas. A further two fifths (38 per cent) said they don’t spread the cost of Christmas out over several months.

Scott Greever from Sunny said: “Planning for a holiday like Christmas can be stressful, time consuming, and costly - so it’s no wonder that some preparation for the festivities filter into people’s working day. It is now increasingly common that people are paid early, meaning many have to stretch out December’s pay for longer and manage increased costs that come with the Christmas season. However, with a bit of extra planning, there are smart ways to save on costs without sacrificing favourite holiday traditions.”

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