Spending less, borrowing more: consumer plans for Christmas 2023

Photo by ROMAN ODINTSOV: https://www.pexels.com/photo/close-up-of-woman-hands-holding-christmas-gift-6334622/

Research published this week by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has revealed that the number of people planning to borrow to fund Christmas has increased this year, while the average expected spend is down. The survey also revealed that consumers significantly underestimate how long their consumer rights last after purchase.

• Average expected spend is lower this Christmas (down from €1,186 in 2022 to €1,030 in 2023).

• Sharpest decline in expected spend in households with children, down €221 on average from last year.

• 14% of people expect to spend over €2,000 this Christmas.

The number of consumers (29%) planning to use some form of borrowing to pay for Christmas this year has increased from 24% in 2022.

Grainne Griffin, CCPC Director of Communications, said: “At this time of year, it’s easy to feel pressured into making snap decisions around borrowing, whether it’s putting the groceries on your credit card or choosing Buy Now Pay Later at the checkout. Don’t ruin your January in search of the perfect Christmas – know the full cost of credit before you buy, and only borrow what you’ll be able to repay.”


Research also revealed some confusion about consumer rights, with just 1% of all consumers surveyed correctly identifying the timeframe for return of faulty goods as six years. More than half mistakenly believed it to be dependent on the warranty or guarantee.

Grainne Griffin said: “However much you’re planning to spend this Christmas, make sure you know your rights as a consumer. Your rights are independent of any warranty or guarantee – and they generally last much longer. If something is faulty or not as advertised, your rights to a repair, replacement or refund are strongest in the first year after you get it, but they don’t just go away once that year is over.”