Christmas leaves many Britons in debt

London, Dec 30 (IANS) Christmas has left millions of Britons in debt, as one in four -- 22 percent -- said they would not have been able to afford Christmas without borrowing.

A survey by consumer group Which? found that nearly half of Britons -- 46 percent -- used credit cards, overdrafts, store cards or payday loans to fund the festivities, the Daily Express reported.

Average borrowings were 301 pounds but six percent took 500-1,000 pounds while two percent borrowed more than 1,000 pounds.

Five percent had to borrow from friends or family.

Despite this, 56 percent spent less on Christmas this year than last year, with 43 percent cutting back significantly, the daily said.

Soaring food prices meant 48 percent did not buy as much to eat and 45 percent bought lower quality food.

With energy and food costs rising, the survey also found that people don't feel positive about the New Year, with 54 percent expecting their household budgets to be squeezed even tighter.


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