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23pc feel pressurised to overspend at Christmas; PERSONAL FINANCE.

Byline: Graeme Brown

NEARLY one in four Britons feel under pressure to overspend this Christmas - with shopping bonanzas such as Black Friday, as well as children, being among the main causes, a charity has found.

Research for the Money Advice Trust's National Debtline found that 23 per cent of British adults feel under pressure to spend more than they had planned this festive season.

Across the survey of more than 2,000 people, one in 14 (seven per cent) people said their children are a source of pressure to spend more than they had intended.

Black Friday and similar shopping days were cited as a source of strain by six per cent of people, with the same proportion also saying that stores' "special offers" make them feel under pressure to spend more.

One in 25 (four per cent) people said that other relatives make them feel under pressure to blow their budget. The same proportion of people also blamed their spouse, or Christmas being depicted on television or in films, for putting them under pressure to part with more of their cash.

The survey also suggests that people may be borrowing more this year than in 2014 to get through Christmas.

In this year's survey, 35 per cent of people had already borrowed money or planned to borrow it to pay for Christmas gifts this year, compared with 34 per cent when similar research was carried out last year.

Meanwhile, 23 per cent of people plan to borrow money to pay for Christmas food, compared with 21 per cent in 2014.

Bank of England figures have prompted some concerns about the level of borrowing people have been taking on in recent months.

The Bank's Money and Credit report has shown that consumer credit has been growing at its strongest levels since 2006, bringing worries about people's reliance on personal loans, overdrafts and credit cards in order to make ends meet.

Joanna Elson, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, said: "The number of us putting Christmas on credit is rising, and while most households will be able to pay this extra borrowing off, many are at risk of falling into difficulty in the New YeaY r. "The fact that so many people are feeling under pressure to spend more than they originally planned shows what a difficult time of year this can be. With underlying borrowing having risen sharply over the last year, we are concerned that this extra Christmas spending will be the last straw for many household budgets."

The charity said that last Christmas, the number of calls to its National Debtline jumped by 61 per cent after the holiday as households tried to come to grips with their extra borrowing.

It is tweeting videos to raise awareness of the pressure people are facing under PSMakingChristmasCount.

The survey was carried out among a cross-section of the population by YouY Gov.


<BBlack Friday crowds in the Bullring, Birmingham

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Dec 10, 2015
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