On average Brits are only prepared to overspend by £54 – less than the cost of a family-sized turkey

Warning signs about the economy in the Autumn Statement mean consumer spending looks set to be equally prudent this Christmas. 40% of UK consumers fully intend to set a strict budget and stick to it, with only 4% thinking they will overspend by amounts of up to £200. This is according to a study of 2,000 adults into consumer Christmas shopping habits carried out by digital payments experts Skrill.

The majority of UK shoppers (59%) believe if they used a prepaid card with a set limit to spend on it, they would minimise the risk of overspending and allow them to stick to their budgets. However, when shoppers do overspend, the most likely way for them to do so remains spending via a credit card. A third (36%) admitted they are most likely to overspend using a credit card to pay for Christmas gifts online.

Recent trends towards online shopping have continued with 90% of Brits planning to buy at least one gift online this Christmas as they hunt for the best bargains. A quarter (26%) will make between one and five purchases online with a further third (33%) buying between six to ten presents online.


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With a clear desire to minimise the risk of overspending this year, UK spenders are looking to new payment technologies to help them stick to their budgets. Nearly one in ten (8%) have used digital wallets to buy gifts in the past and this year more than one in three (38%) are looking to use NFC payment methods.

In contrast to the caution being displayed by the UK public, German shoppers are feeling far more buoyant with a fifth fully prepared to go as much as €200 over budget.

SpirosTheodossiou, VP Product Strategy at Skrill commented: “Given the current economic climate, consumers are acutely aware of overspending this Christmas. Our study shows that UK consumers are willing to consider new payment options to help them better manage their finances. New technology such as prepaid cards and digital wallets are an ideal way to curb expenditure, as you can set a limit and then cut your cloth accordingly. Spending with new technology like this can help people to enjoy their Christmas and a debt-free January too.”