Half of December pay packet spent on Christmas, research shows

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The average Briton will spend around half their December pay packet on Christmas, research suggests.

While people typically said they would spend 44% of their monthly salary on Christmas, one in 16 (6%) people tend to spend more than their whole month's salary on the festive celebrations, Nationwide Building Society's Christmas Spending Report found.

Nearly a fifth (19%) of those surveyed said their Christmas spending habits leave them suffering financially for three months or more.

Just over half (55%) of people surveyed now buy the majority of their Christmas gifts online, rather than braving the bustle of the high street.

Supermarkets are also popular places for people to buy Christmas gifts, with one in 25 (4%) making the most of the selections there. One in 16 (6%) people surveyed said they mostly use independent retailers for their Christmas shopping.

Around one in three (30%) people use some form of debt to get through Christmas, through credit cards or overdrafts, for example.

Meanwhile, one in 50 (2%) people said they do not spend anything on Christmas, the survey of 2,000 people found.

Nationwide's head of current accounts, Phil Smith, said: "While it's great to treat loved ones over the Christmas period, it's always worth considering how best to ensure your spending remains manageable.

"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.

"Mobile and internet banking can help keep you informed and in control of your finances, even on the go."