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On average, Hungarians plan to spend 100,000 forints (EUR 242) on Christmas spending this year, of which 47,500 forints (EUR 115) will be on presents, according to the latest fourth quarterly survey by Cofidis Hitelmonitor, a quarterly national representative survey series.
Compared to last year’s Christmas, 35 percent of Hungarians want to spend less this year and 18 percent of adults said they would not spend at all this Christmas. The reasons behind this could be the possibility of an economic crisis, financial uncertainty, and drastically rising prices.
According to the survey, 20 percent of Hungarians are comfortable with their income, while four-fifths have a shortfall in their family budget. For most people, this deficit amounts to around 200,000 forints (EUR 485) a month, which is what they need to live comfortably. Due to the rise in food prices, respondents have been spending on average 30,000 forints (EUR 70) more on their kitchen/pantry bills since July, and expect further increases in the coming months. They currently spend an average of 142,000 forints (EUR 344) a month on food, they wrote.
Although the Cofidis survey found that despite the tougher financial conditions, the proportion of people planning to take out a loan to cover Christmas spending has not increased, and balancing income and expenditure is the fourth most popular credit goal for personal loans.
Two thirds of Hungarians will put up a Christmas tree this year.
Where there will be a tree, more than half of homes will be decorated with artificial Christmas trees. Thirty percent of Hungarians will buy a fresh pine tree, while 10 percent will buy a version with an earth ball, which can then be replanted for future use. Most people spend around HUF 10,000 on fresh tress, while festive decorations are a secondary consideration: 73 percent of Hungarians are not spending any money at all this year.
In terms of gifts, the number of people buying presents has dropped significantly from 78 percent in 2019 to 58 percent this year.
Those who want to surprise their family and friends are thinking of spending an average of HUF 47,500, compared to HUF 35,800 in 2021.
According to the survey, frugality is also reflected in the Christmas menu: 46 percent of Hungarians want to use the cheapest possible ingredients to prepare their family’s Christmas dinner. However, this does not necessarily mean that they would cook and bake differently than in previous years. One third are not planning to change their usual, well-established festive menu: fish still tops the list, with one in two families putting it on their menu. Pork is second on the list of Christmas favorites, followed by nuts and poppy seeds.
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