RESEARCH reveals that more than one in 10 families in the Midlands started Christmas planning in September to combat the financial impact of the festive season.

A further seven per cent of people even started their Christmas shopping in January this year, to help spread the cost.

The research, released by Morrisons, found more than half (52 per cent) of people in the Midlands are more concerned about the financial impact of Christmas this year than last.

In total, the average household’s monthly outgoings in December will increase by £152.30 as people spend additional money on festive food, drink, decorations, presents and travel.

In preparation for Christmas, 17 per cent of those living in the Midlands started saving in January.. A third (34 per cent), however, are worried they have not saved enough to cover the cost of Christmas this year.

Some are turning to extreme measures to fund Christmas, with 28 per cent claiming they will need to borrow money to help fund their Christmas celebrations. Those that resort to borrowing can expect to spend the next 15 weeks paying off the Christmas bill.

Others are trying to avoid getting into debt by selling items to raise funds (16 per cent) or taking on additional work (11 per cent). A quarter are also planning to buy cheaper food to cut back on costs.

Top five things Brits will not cross off their Christmas shopping lists:

  1. Presents for the family - 66 per cent
  2.  Christmas dinner - 54 per cent
  3. Presents for a partner - 45 per cent
  4. Christmas decorations - 42 per cent
  5.  Presents for pets - 11 per cent

The research revealed that on a national scale, Christmas is not just celebrated on December 25.

Of those surveyed, 45 per cent said that they will sit down to a Christmas lunch two or three times, with 39 per cent of the UK celebrating before the big day and over half (52 per cent) of families continuing to celebrate Christmas well into January.

While that means twice the celebration, it will also mean twice the cost.

Sarah Willingham, founder of, said: “Christmas is an expensive time of year but it’s important to plan ahead and prepare to avoid getting into debt.

“There are still two pay packets left before Christmas, so make sure you cover the cost of Christmas across both. Keeping a record of your spending may sound dull and complicated but it’s a really great way to get control, and keep control, of your finances.

“Christmas may only be weeks away but there is still time to be savvy with your shopping, cooking and present buying.”