Friday, December 07, 2007

Brits ’Planning Ahead’ For Spending During Christmas

With about a quarter of Britons moving house doing so over the Christmas season, consumers are being advised to be conscious of the impact that this can have on their finances, it has been suggested.

In the Movingimproving Index released by Alliance & Leicester, just under one in four (22 per cent) homemovers get the keys for a new property in the 12 weeks leading up to December 25th. Meanwhile, some eight per cent of people state that they are prepared to move during the last month of the year, despite the financial services firm claiming that this is often a time of year when consumers are planning parties and buying presents. And despite the financial stress that both moving and the festive season can bring, the majority of people seem to be able to manage various aspects of their money across areas such as savings, purchasing Christmas presents or paying back personal loans.

According to the firm, over half (53 per cent) of those settling into a new home before December 25th claim that the expense of relocating did not impact upon their festive spending. Meanwhile, ten per cent of respondents claim that they have saved money earlier in the year to finance their festive expenditure as they prepare to move home in December. However, just under a fifth (19 per cent) state they had not budgeted enough money for the Christmas season, with this proportion rising to 29 per cent for those from Wales and the south-west of England. Meanwhile, two per cent state that they have taken out a loan or used a credit card to help finance their spending over the Christmas period.

The study also indicated that 15 per cent of Scottish residents state that they had prepared in advance to make sure that they spent less money over Christmas after their move - and in doing so such people could well find themselves being able to make sure repayments on home loans and other types of borrowing with greater ease. However, this figure drops to four per cent for movers from Wales and the south-west.

Stephen Leonard, director of mortgages for Alliance & Leicester, commented: "With so many people moving into their new homes during the run-up to Christmas it can feel like a rush to get the family settled and the new furniture ordered before December 25th. But it is very encouraging to see many people are planning ahead to budget for their moving costs and saving in advance to ensure it doesn’t have a big impact on their Christmas. Clearly planning ahead, budgeting and saving are the key to a less stressful move."

With December 25th rapidly approaching those consumers who are concerned that their finances will not be able to cope with moving home, paying for Christmas or even both could find that applying now for a low-rate personal loan is advised. Such borrowing could be particularly recommended after research released by Halifax showed that only a third of Britons will draw up a budget for their spending during the festive season.

Meanwhile, less than three-quarters of these people will actually keep to the expenditure plan, which could well see many struggle to meet utility bills, credit card and mortgage repayments in the new year.


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