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HWH 2022 Part 2 Xmas Press Release

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7 mins

by LifeSearch,

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Published 24 Nov 2022


  • Women to spend £7.3 billion less this Christmas at an average of £310 per head, vs £266 by men
  • One in four women will buy their kids fewer presents (24%) as a direct impact of the cost-of-living crisis 
  • The LifeSearch Health, Wealth and Happiness Index reveals women are close to breaking point, only needing cost of essentials to go up by £111 per month on average to struggle financially in the months ahead
  • Brits will spend an average of £76 less on presents, £62 less on socialising, 59% less on Christmas experiences, £52 less on food and £41 less on decorations

Women look set to make the biggest Christmas cut-backs this year, totalling £7.3 billion (£310 per head on average vs £266 by men), reflecting the struggles of the cost-of-living crisis, according to the latest update of the LifeSearch Health, Wealth and Happiness Index.  

One in four (24%) women won’t be buying as many presents for their children this Christmas compared to normal years (vs just 14% of men) and almost half (46%) will be buying fewer gifts for their wider family, compared to just 33% of men.

And it’s not just the number of presents, but the price tags too as over half of women (54%) plan to spend less on gifts by an average of £85, collectively totalling £2 billion less this year, compared to men who plan to spend £1.3 billion less (an average of £66). In fact, there appears to be some relationship inequalities when it comes to the number of presents under the tree this year, as 27% of women state they will be cutting back on gifts for their partners, vs just 19% of men.

LifeSearch, the UK’s leading life insurance broker, also found that it is not just the Christmas gift budget that is being cut – one in two (48%) Brits plan to spend less on festive food and drink (consumers on average cutting spending by £52) and 38% plan to cut back spending on decorations (reducing spending on average by £41), with one in 20 (5%) saying they won’t be able to afford a Christmas tree or decorations at all this year.

Four in 10 women (43%) are planning to cut back on what they spend on Christmas experiences this year too, with women on average cutting back spending in this area to a sum of £62 (compared to 41% of men at an average sum of £55). While a similar number of women and men won’t be cutting back on socialising over the festive season this year (22% vs 24%) women will cutting back by larger sums (£65 vs £58). Furthermore, one in 10 (10%) of all Brits will be spending more than £200 less on getting out and about during the festive season.

While many are cutting back on their Christmas spending, 7% of Brits plan to put more of the spend on credit (e.g. loans/credit cards, Klarna) and almost half (47%) will be shopping for more bargains this year, rising to 55% of women (37% of men). 

Women look set to be more financially vulnerable this winter

These cutbacks come as no surprise when the LifeSearch report also found that many Brits are close to breaking point financially - the cost of essentials only need to go up by £128 per month on average for people to struggle financially in the months ahead, dropping to just £111 pm for women. In fact, it may not take long for many women to reach their financial breaking point as 71% think they will be worse off financially in the months ahead – on average women think they will be worse off by £352pm, compared to £330pm for men. Unsurprisingly, over a fifth (22%) of all women think about the impact of the cost of living on their finances multiple times a day and a further 29% say it’s on their mind "daily" (vs 15% and 21% for men respectively).

Emma Walker, Chief Marketing Officer at LifeSearch who commissioned the study said: “This winter looks set to be challenging for so many this year; aside of the stresses people face as a result of the rising cost of living, the pressures to spend over the festive period could also push many to their limits. Despite all the doom and gloom, we will all want to have an opportunity to celebrate and spend time with family and friends, but this year may be less about spending to the excess and more about value and keeping to a budget.”

Table one below shows how much Brits plan to cut back on different aspects of Christmas spending this year compared to normal:

Spending type

National average















Food and drink








Total (average per head)




Total (collective in UK)

£12.5 billion

£7.3 billion

£5.2 billion


Commissioned with the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) and supported by consumer insights from among 3,000 adults in the UK, the annual update of the combined LifeSearch Health, Wealth and Happiness Index reveals further falls over the last six months, with the Index reaching 79.0 at the end of the third quarter 2022 (the lowest level in the series since Q1 2021).  

The study has also found the severe consequences that many women look set to face this winter due to the cost-of-living crisis:

  • Over a half (48%) of all women (vs 43% of men) anticipate they may use the majority of their savings
  • A third (35%) of women think they will be unable to pay for energy and 73% will turn the heating off when normally it is on (compared to 68% of men)
  • 35% of mothers don’t think they will be able to pay for childcare, and 63% say they will struggle to pay for things their children want/need this winter

For a full copy of the LifeSearch Health, Wealth and Happiness Report, updated for Q2 and Q3 2022, visit

- Ends -

The Q2 and Q3 update of the Health, Wealth and Happiness Index was compiled and updated by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) for LifeSearch in October 2022. The Index is based on a modelling process taking into account a range of data sources covering health, wealth, and happiness and monitoring changes over time. The consumer insights research was carried out by Opinium Research between 6-12 October 2022 among 3,000 UK adults, weighted to be nationally representative. 

The stats are based on Table One and calculated based on 27 million women in the UK according to the Office for National Statistics.
For further information, please contact:
Karen Mignon / Kevin Carr, Carr Consulting & Communications
Email: / Tel: 07766 651327
Email: / Tel: 07887 838811
About LifeSearch
Over nearly 23 years, LifeSearch have grown into the UK’s biggest life insurance specialist, offering expert, independent advice to customers around life insurance, critical illness cover, income protection, family income benefit, serious illness cover and business insurance. Over our two-plus-decades, LifeSearch has picked up dozens of awards for company culture, expertise and customer service. We have a TrustPilot score of 4.9 out of 5 (excellent) and came Top #3 in our debut appearance on the Sunday Times’ list of Best Places to Work in the UK –

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LifeSearch have been protecting the life you love since 1998. We've protected over 1 million of families in our time. Read our views and opinions on the latest industry news, and what we have to say on all things Health, Wealth & Happiness. Our content is brought to you by LifeSearcher's and guest writers.
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