Regions divided about Christmas costs

People in less prosperous parts of the country, spend more as a proportion of their income on Christmas, analysis of the BBC.

The North-East, the West Midlands, Northern Ireland and Yorkshire & Humber spend 25% of a month to disposable income.

But in London and the South East, falling to under 20%.

The analysis of the BBC 5 live Wake up to money voted official regional income figures with the Centre for Retail Research, the expenditure forecasts for Christmas.

Separate figures from YouGov show wealthy people are cutting back on Christmas and plan to spend less on gifts this year by 8% to £300, compared to £291 for low-wage, up to 4%.

Anecdotally, we found parents in less wealthy areas spend much more on their children’s gifts. We asked shoppers in two very different cities, Kirkby in Merseyside and Wilmslow, in Cheshire, about your Christmas budget.

Kirkby is in Knowsley, a district place, which is one of the most disadvantaged groups of the population in England on measures such as income, employment, health and education.

Wilmslow is part of Cheshire, in the so-called “Golden triangle”, a wealthy area known for its expensive houses and famous footballer.

In Kirkby, parents said they were in favour of anything from £100 up to £1,500 per child. Your colleagues in Wilmslow often had a smaller budget of £30 for a baby, to a maximum of £300 for young people.

MacPherson photo

In the case of Kirkby shopping centre, father of five, Scott Gavin said: “I’m trying to stay around £400 [each]. It is not going to happen, she never does. We have our own business, so we earn good money.”

A woman with four children, said she spends as much as £1,500, the debt on “iPhones and perfume,” while a father of six, a similar budget.

He said: “As the children get older, it becomes more and more expensive. I think that it is rather the parents who push it more than the kids expect it. And I’d rather give than take, you know what I mean? I would rather spend my money on the children, than you spend on me.”

A number of people that said with young children, the expenditure to be £100-£300.

Estelle Carroll said: “I have over £300 on my son this year He is 16 months. He was sick last year at Christmas, he had bronchitis, so he couldn’t celebrate, so this year I’m doing it.”

Her friend Stephanie Hasalamaj said your limit was £150. “It is totally up to the people to spend what they want on a child, but I don’t think you appreciate it, if you have loads and loads of toys. Because as you get older, you just expect more.”

About in Wilmslow, nobody is a number from about £300 per child. At the upper end, Andrew of buying for three children ages, 12, 16, and 18.

He said: “I’m very good with budgets, and I am to spend a little bit nervous this year, because things feel like they are tightening a little.

“We are probably a couple of hundred to spend on the individual, but you want to upgrade on your iPhone as well, and unfortunately, they did not believe that the part of Christmas that only a part of life.”

A couple of women with small children said they were spending less than £100. Jessica, mother of a two – and four-year-old, said: “We are trying to stick to £50 per child, because we have the feeling, so much stuff, and you get so many gifts from other people.”

But Jenny, who is not buy like a Muslim, for her children, suggested that the could spend a lot of people much higher amounts.

“We live in a fairly wealthy area, so it’s not fitbit’s, iPhones, the latest Computer, and it is these hoverboard things, it’s all the latest electronics. But it is only a main is no longer available. It is three or four,” she says.

So what explains this different approach to spend Christmas?

Prof Sir Cary Cooper, a psychologist at the Manchester Alliance Business School, thinks the variation may be linked to other financial obligations, and also a legacy of the recession could.

He said: “If you look in the middle-class people, they have many other costs, such as private schools and private health care. They are wealthy, but not what I would call, they often have got serious issues.

“And from a working-class perspective, you will have a hard time since the recession, and would have probably not so much then. Now you are back in employment, they are a waste of time.”

No one we talked to Kirkby and Wilmslow, said they planned to use the credit card, but the figures from the money advice trust, it is increasingly a role.

The trust, a charity that runs the National debtline, surveyed 2,000 people and found 37% of the Christmas gifts on credit. This is of 33% in the last year.