Nearly a third of Brits are so broke by Christmas that they escape to their parents for financial R&R

  • 28% of Brits rely on their immediate family to host them at Christmas because they are so financially hard up
  • Nearly 60% admit to contributing very little or nothing to the cost of Christmas when staying with their families
  • Three quarters of the nation are too tight lipped to share their financial worries with their loved ones over Christmas
  • Over a third claim that their families picking up the costs of Christmas significantly helps alleviate their financial worries

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…for indulgence, and us Brits are more than happy to splash the cash over the festive season. However our seasonal spending sprees are taking their toll when it comes to our Christmas celebrations according to research released today by

With one in ten of us admitting to be seriously worried about our finances before Christmas Day has even arrived, it’s hardly surprising that nearly a third of us head home to our loved ones with empty wallets and hungry tums to let them pick up the tab at Christmas.

Once we’re back in thewarm bosom of our families many of us will be putting our financial feet up over the Christmas period with 60% of us claiming to contribute little or even nothing towards the festivities when we’re at home. A further 30% state that this break from spending over the season of goodwill significantly helps us to alleviate our financial woes.

Whatever the state of our finances we’re not ones to share our worries with our nearest and dearest over the festive holiday, with over three quarters of us (76%) stating that we stay tight lipped, preferring to keep our financial problems to ourselves.

“Overspending during the run up to Christmas is so common it’s almost becoming the norm.” comments blogger Ricky Willis, Editor and Institute of Inertia Advisory Panel member.

“Before becoming a parent myself, I spent many Christmases back with my family after my festive spending got a little out of control in the run up to the big day. I look back and think that if I’d planned my finances a little better I might have spent less Christmases struggling to scrape enough together for my train fare come Christmas Eve!

“I try and instil in my young kids the importance of budgeting their finances realistically, however I won’t be surprised in the future if we hear some knocks on the door from the kids around Christmas time!”

About the Institute of Inertia

  • The Institute of Inertia is a partnership between and the University of Sheffield, launched in 2015 to look at the psychology behind financial inertia and, ultimately, to help consumers to save otherwise wasted time and money.
  • The Institute of Inertia is a network of experts and academics led by The University of Sheffield’s Dr Thomas Webb, a social psychologist and specialist in understanding how people achieve (and struggle to achieve) their goals.
  • A programme of qualitative research informs the Institute of Inertia and helps to shape and test potential solutions to drive behavioural change.  
  • For more information on the Institute of Inertia, please visit   

Institute of Inertia Advisory Panel

  • For more information on the panel and its members, please see attached PDF


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