Record festive spending will see us neglect our health

Christmas presents

Consumers spend on average over a third more in the run-up to Christmas, forcing them to cut back on essential spending in the New Year, according to research.

After excessive spending in December - when consumers spend 35% more than in the previous month - in the first three months of 2015 people will neglect their health, including dental work, eye care, health insurance and medication in the first three months of 2015, according to MoneyDashboard.

The website, which gives users immediate access to all their online accounts, predicts consumer spending is set to fall 20% year-on-year in the first three months of 2015.

As well as a 33% drop in expenditure on personal healthcare at the beginning of next year, consumers will spend 8% less on clothes and 21% less on leisure and entertainment.

An interesting trend has emerged in that consumers are cutting back on smaller treats to be able to afford bigger splurges. For example, spending on snacks and refreshments fell 19% to £21 a week from July to September 2014, while outgoings on dining and drinking went up 18% to £53 a week.

The research also shows that consumers seem to be splashing out on holidays, with average spending up from £613 from July to September 2013 to £704 in the same period in 2014. Spending on alcohol also increased year-on-year, rising 22%, from an average of £68 a week to £83. 

Financial stability

Commenting on the findings, Gavin Littlejohn, founder and chief executive of MoneyDashboard, said: "Consumers are clearly living in the here and now but, while it’s really important to enjoy the present, investing careful thought and planning to ensure future financial stability is vital.

"Balancing your budget is always a challenge so you have to be sensible and smart when cutting back to ensure you keep your finances in good health."


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