Christmas is a matter of weeks away but one fifth of Brits have admitted they fear they may not be able to celebrate in 2014.
According to new research from the Debt Advisory Centre (DAC), 19% of people believe they cannot afford the cost of Christmas and so will not be celebrating.
A third of people also admitted that they even end up dreading Christmas as a result with this feeling most prevalent among 25 to 34-year olds. This is perhaps understandable given that they are the age group most likely to have recently moved out of home, set up their own household or started a family.
Brits reveal financial fears
Nearly half of this age group admitted to having some sort of financial fears while one in three said they would not be celebrating Christmas in order to focus on other aspects of their life.
In comparison, only around one in eight of those ages 55 or over said they were in a similar position, with most of this age group embracing Christmas.
The festive season can be costly in terms of gifts, food and drink, and travel prices. Only half of those surveyed said they would cover all of their expenditure through earnings alone and 36% said they would use some of their savings to fund spending while others look to borrow using credit or loan facilities.
Funding Christmas in many different ways
Perhaps most worryingly, one in ten people have revealed they are still paying off loans or credit cards from last Christmas.
The findings from the DAC coincide with further research from the Money Advice Service that suggests nearly half of Brits will turn to credit and overdraft options this Christmas.
Furthermore, 1.4 million people are set to turn to payday loans to cover their festive spending with the average adult set to spend £530 on Christmas this year. On a national level that equates to around £26 billion – a £2 billion increase on 2013 – showing just how much Britain is prepared to splash out around Christmas.
Managing money this festive season
Around £2.4 billion was wasted on food, drink and presents that were unused, unneeded or unwanted in 2013 – equating to around an average waste of £28 per person.
Many Brits revealed that their spending can get out of hand when celebrating the holidays as 37% admit to feeling pressurised to find something special for their family. Slightly more than a quarter said they spend more than they can afford while 34% admitted to stretching themselves financially.
Christmas is a time of year when good financial management is required and household essentials such as bills and living costs should always take priority over gifts and seasonal treats.