Three in 10 expect to be in debt after Christmas, study finds

Three in 10 British adults expect to be in debt after Christmas, research has revealed.

A nationwide poll commissioned by BBC1's Watchdog showed that spending over the festive season will push close to a third of adults (29%) into debt.

The debt is most likely to be between £1 and £250.

Of those surveyed, younger adults are more likely to expect to be in debt after the Christmas period.

At least a third of British adults aged 18 to 54 said they think they will be in debt, compared with 20% of those aged 55 to 64 and 13% aged 65 and above.

The nationwide poll by ComRes also investigated consumers' food shopping habits during the festive period.

About 78% of adults said taste would be among the three most important factors when deciding what food to buy for a party, while 77% said price.

The appearance of the food would also be an important factor.

ComRes also carried out a winter savings poll which showed that 30% of participants were worried about the cost of Christmas this year.

More than two in five (42%) adults said they were concerned about the cost of gas or electricity bills, and a third were worried about the cost of food.

Watchdog presenter Steph McGovern said: "Everyone wants to make the most of the festive period but it can be a real financial strain for some.

"By highlighting ways to save on costs we want to help people enjoy the festive cheer without the debt hangover."

:: The final episode of Watchdog airs at 8pm on Wednesday on BBC1.

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