More than a quarter of people worried about affording Christmas – ONS

More than a quarter of people in the UK are worried about affording their Christmas plans, as households look to cut down on spending this festive season, according to a new survey.

Some 28% reported feeling worried about being able to afford the things they planned to do this Christmas, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found.

Households feeling the squeeze as living costs continue to rise have been taking action to manage spending during the typically busier shopping season.

Nearly half said they were planning to spend less on Christmas food and presents, while 39% planned to shop earlier this year to spread the costs.

More than a quarter of people said they were using, or planned to use, personal savings to cover the cost of Christmas food and gifts.

The ONS’s survey also showed a significant proportion of adults felt unable to keep warm this winter.

About a fifth said that they were occasionally, hardly ever or never able to keep comfortably warm in their home in the past two weeks.

And nearly half reported using less fuel such as gas or electricity in their home because of rising bills, although it was lower than the 56% who said so in a similar period last year.

It comes as the average household energy bill will rise by £94 a year from January after regulator Ofgem increased the price cap in response to rising wholesale prices.

The price cap will go up from the current £1,834 for a typical dual fuel household to £1,928 from January 1.

The figure is an average across households rather than an absolute cap on bills, so those who use more will pay more.

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