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Over 50% Expect Debt After Christmas Spending

51% of Irish shoppers expect to be in debt after Christmas, according to a survey by the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU).

People expect to spend €600 on average over the festive period, with parents predicting to pay €180 on children's gifts. 69% of those surveyed spend most of their money on gifts, followed by food.

Women report spending more on presents, while men spend more on food and drink. Irish consumers outspend the rest of the EU at Christmas, with 48% of respondents dipping into savings accounts for the holiday season, while 21% saved specifically for December. A further 31% plan to borrow or use credit cards to cover the costs.

Roughly 6% are turning to moneylenders, however, who can charge up to 200% interest rates. Young adults are more likely to take this route, with 9% reporting to have already approached a moneylender and 8% considering it.

The survey shows that on average, it will take 69% of respondents two months to recover from overspending, while 25% will need three to six months. Over a quarter surveyed feel that Christmas will be less enjoyable this year because of financial pressures. Women are more likely to feel this strain, with 28% reporting concerns versus 24% of men. Meanwhile 67% of respondents claim to have had to make sacrifices for a better Christmas this year.

The ILCU have advice for consumers looking to cut costs and protect themselves from debt on www.creditunion.ie

© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan.

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