Start saving now for Christmas says Halifax

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It may, almost, be September, but anyone hoping to avoid the annual financial crush of Christmas needs to start saving right now, a bank has warned.

With the big day just 17 weeks away, you will need to save £28 a week from here on in to cover the cost of Christmas, said Halifax.

Its research showed the average person spent around £469 last Christmas, factoring food, drink and socialising.

Most of us are unlikely to heed the bank’s advice, it seems: Of those surveyed, just over a third (36%) said they saved specifically for Christmas. Most of us tend to fund some Christmas spending through our salary, while a smaller but still worrying number also rely on credit to make it through the festive season.

“Whilst Christmas is unlikely to be at the top of people’s priorities as they return from their summer holidays, with the cost of the festive season nearing £500 and the hangover stretching for some into April, it’s never too early to think about how you will pay for it,” said Giles Martin, head of Halifax Savings.

“Christmas can put real pressure on people’s finances, but putting money aside each month can really help to spread the cost.

“If you can afford to save regularly then the earlier you start the less you need to find each month.”