Brits set to spend £29.6 billion on Christmas gifts, despite 60% cutting down on present costs

The UK is planning to spend £26.9 billion on Christmas gifts this year, according to new research from personal finance comparison website

An average British adult will fork out £512.85 on gifts over the festive period. However, there will be a wide range of amounts spent – half (50%) are set to spend £250 or less.

However, three in five (60%) are planning to reduce spending on presents in a variety of ways. The most popular method is to set a price limit with family and friends, with two in five (39%) intending to do this. 

Almost one in seven (15%) of Brits are giving experience gifts like picnics or massages to reduce costs, making this the second most common method. In third place is making gifts, with 13% of Brits saying they will do this to cut costs. 

On average, men are planning to spend over £100 more than women on presents (£566.02 vs £463.29). It is likely that women are spending less on average because two thirds (67%) are planning to cut costs in some way. This is significantly more than the number of men (54%) that intend to reduce their spending on gifts. 

Generation X (those born 1965-1980) are planning to spend the most on festive gifts, parting with £636 on average. At the other end of the scale is generation Z (those born after 1996), who intend to spend £212.16 each. 

Gen Z are also planning to be the most savvy with their money this Christmas, with over three quarters (77%) saying that they plan to cut costs on gifting. Only around a third (30%) of the silent generation (those born 1928-1945) are planning to reduce how much they spend on presents. 

To see the further breakdowns of the research including interactive visualisations of the data, visit:

Ways of cutting cost this ChristmasPercentage of Brits
Set a price limit with family and friends39%
Secret Santa instead of buying gifts for multiple people11%
Make gifts13%
Buy second hand gifts10%
Giving a less expensive or free experience as a gift (e.g, massage, picnic)15%
Waiting until after Christmas (Boxing Day sales, etc.) to do your Christmas shopping9%
N/A – I don’t plan to cut costs this Christmas33%
I don’t know / N/A – I don’t typically buy Christmas presents6%

Commenting on the findings, Jon Ostler, CEO at said: “It is interesting to see so many of us are thinking about how we can make our money go further or focus on experiences this Christmas. It can be a great feeling to give, or receive, a present, but it doesn’t need to break the bank! You will need to think about what your family and friends will value, but why not consider doing something really meaningful like learning to cook a new dish, making something or planning a day out somewhere. These could last longer in the memory than a product.”