Everything you need to know about Christmas spending in 8 charts

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Christmas can be an expensive time of year, and just how expensive, and just what that money is spent on, is what we aim to show in the following series of charts and graphics.

For anyone who needs a bit of help budgeting this festive season, first direct has a free mobile savings app available in the App Store, Saveapp.

Christmas really does come earlier every year

Really! Nathan Cunningham of the Royal Statistical Society tried to add some statistical weight to the old adage that Christmas comes earlier every year by gathering data on the volume of Christmas-related online searches. Using this he was able to extrapolate when people's minds began turning to Christmas, and all the trimmings that come with it. He found that whereas in 2007 Christmas 'began' on November 11 (week 45 of the year), by 2013 our minds had turned to the festive season as early as August 25. Yikes.

In the below chart, you can see how many weeks in a year had elapsed (y axis) before Christmas was determined to have 'started'. Between 2007 and 2013 the start of Christmas had arrived more than ten weeks earlier.

Christmas can be very expensive

"Well, duh," we hear you say, but here's the proof in the Christmas pudding:

As the chart, from Statista, shows, the average person will spend £491 overall on Christmas items.

That said, there is another way...

A Good Housekeeping guide published in November suggests that you can feed a family of eight this Christmas Day for 'only' £21.31, if you're willing to shop around a bit that is.

Nothing beats a good book at Christmas, nothing

That is, unless you are buying a present for a teenager:

The 12 other days of Christmas

While a lot of research into Christmas spending focuses on the build-up to the big day, first direct commissioned YouGov to look into the 12 days after December 25 (until January 5).

The average estimate from around the country of how much households expected to spend was around £330.

But data and feedback taken from 2,000 UK households found the actual figure is £653.

However you plan on spending this Christmas (geddit?) first direct's Saveapp can help you resist the temptations of small everyday purchases, so you can save for the things that really matter.