Christmas costs the average Finn 630 euros

A survey commissioned by Nordea shows that this year the average Finn will spend some 630 euros on Christmas, 350 euros of which will go to Christmas presents and the rest to other expenditure, such as food and clothes. Of the Nordic countries, Swedes will probably spend the least, 590 euros, this year. But Norwegians will spend 1,100 euros. About a thousand people across the Nordic region were interviewed for the survey in late November. Women in the Nordic countries tend to spend more on presents than men, but men contribute somewhat larger sums to other Christmas expenditure. Since last year, people in Northern Finland have increased their Christmas present budget the most in Finland. They spend on average 390 euros, some 70 euros more than last year. The average increase in Finland is 35 euros, ie a little over ten per cent. The big spenders at Christmas are aged between 26 and 39, and are expected to spend some 450 euros on presents, while the over 68-year-olds intend to spend a little more than 300 euros. - People in the age group between 26 and 39 years invariably buy presents either for their own or for godchildren or friends' children. Children today have really high expectations, leading to big bills, says Tarja Svartström, Nordea's Private Economist. Christmas presents paid for in ready cash Less than a half of the Finns have an annual budget for Christmas, although one in five admit to overspending on Christmas purchases. Most Christmas purchases are paid for with cash or debit cards, but more consumers this year are expected to use their tax refunds for Christmas expenses. The survey indicates that not many people pay Christmas costs on credit. - As many as four out of ten intend to curb their Christmas shopping, though. - Planning the shopping is tricky; all the more so without clear plans as to what should be purchased. I recommend putting a cap on Christmas spending. The festive season lasts only a few days, but is followed by 31 days in January, when people will have to make the ends meet, says Tarja Svartström. Every fourth Finn donates to charity Christmas funds are not only spent at shop counters; Finns also give experiences, money or gift vouchers. The proportion of these is, however, smaller than in the other Nordic countries. The elderly give money presents the most frequently. Even though many people give money to charity at Christmas, only 8% intend to donate all Christmas funds to charity. Christmas brings families together and most respondents plan to spend the holidays with their families. Nevertheless, more than one tenth of Finns who are over 68 spend their Christmas alone. The survey was conducted for the second year in a row in Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Nearly one thousand Finns over 16 participated in the survey by phone. Synnovate Finland did the survey. For further information: Tarja Svartström, Private Economist, +358 40 826 2006 Atte Palomäki, Group Identity and Communications, +358 9 165 42325, +358 40 5476390