Brits have most financially savvy Christmas in years, study reveals

  • Lowell’s year-on-year study showcases how Brits opted to be as money-conscious as possible for Christmas 2023, to prepare for 2024 financially
  • 14% more Brits were able to rely on their disposable income for Christmas 2023, compared to the previous year
  • 13% less people used credit cards or buy now pay later schemes for their Christmas spending compared to Christmas 2022

In November, two-thirds of Brits (64%) admitted to prioritising their money management this Christmas, but did the UK become more money-conscious in 2023 compared to the previous festivities?  

Following on from its previous Christmas finance report, credit management company Lowell has conducted further research into the impact the festive season has had on UK household finances going into 2024.

2022 saw the peak of the cost-of living crisis, with interest rates reaching 11.1% (a 41-year high) and with a quarter of Brits (25%) opting to use credit cards, and one in ten (12%) choosing buy now pay later schemes. As a result people in the UK were facing the challenge of paying off their Christmas 2022 debt as late as Easter 2023.

However, as people planned to prioritise their money management this Christmas, overall credit card and buy now pay later scheme usage collectively decreased by 13%. Furthermore, there is a substantial 50% reduction in Brits resorting to their overdrafts. Additionally, 14% more individuals successfully budgeted their disposable income for the festive season, rather than accruing extra debt.

Encouragingly, 28% more people think they will have any Christmas debt paid off by the end of February, a notable increase from the previous year. To further assist Brits in preparing their finances for the new year, Lowell advises the following:

Prioritise reducing debt – before trying to save any money, prioritise clearing off any credit card or overdraft payments with a realistic and affordable payment plan to avoid excess repayment fees.

Plan in advance – If you have any key dates in the diary for 2024 such as birthdays, holidays or weddings, start to put money away in advance to avoid overspending closer to the event. Be sure to save within your means and be realistic with how much you put away, so you still have enough disposable income for bills and monthly essentials.

Be organised with a budget – Create a spreadsheet that lists all of your monthly outgoings, from mortgage or rent payments, to streaming subscriptions. Also include a rough estimate of essential payments such as food and petrol, to give yourself an accurate idea of how much budget you have remaining for saving and any loan repayments.

Long-term goals – Whether you’re looking to move to a new home, are saving to have a child or booking a dream holiday, have a clear vision of your long-term goals and how you can achieve them. Utilise your budget spreadsheet and see what you can afford to save in a 12-month period.

John Pears, UK CEO of Lowell UK said “It’s clear to see that people made a conscious effort to spend within their means as much as they possibly could this Christmas.

Following a turbulent year marked by the cost-of-living crisis and ever-growing inflation rates, Brits have opted to scale back their festive spending, aiming to position themselves more favourably for the upcoming year.

Opting for disposable income instead of credit cards or buy now pay later schemes is a positive step forward, and we’d want to emphasise anyone feeling financial pressure should not hesitate to reach out for support, and a list of organisations who can help can be seen at

Chris Price