New Virgin Money spending data reveals Brit's Christmas money habits

An image showing a woman shopping online
Virgin Money
by Lucy Ayres
22 December 2023

It’s the season of putting ourselves first according to Virgin Money’s new customer spend data. Brits are choosing to prioritise spending on style and wellbeing this autumn in the spirit of treating themselves and their nearest and dearest this festive season. 

New analysis of Virgin Money current account data shows that customers have spent considerably more on lifestyle categories compared to the same time last year. From dining out to pampering sessions, holiday escapades to staying fit, and even entertainment, Brits put wellbeing in the top spot. 

Overall, Virgin Money customers spent a total of £230.82m on lifestyle categories including eating out, style, wellbeing, holidays, UK stays, keeping fit, memberships and subscriptions, and entertainment in November 2023 alone. That’s 2% higher than during November 2022.  

Spending on wellbeing, including cosmetics, spa visits, haircuts, and beauty supplies, reached £33.8 million. The makeup fans took the lead, contributing £13 million to the overall spend, while beauty spas cashed in £3.6 million, prepping folks for the festive glam. 

Virgin Money
Virgin Money

With winter settling in and festive gatherings on the horizon, the Brits decided it was time for a style upgrade. Style-related expenses, covering clothing, accessories, and jewelry, increased by 2% compared to the summer, totaling £124.53 million. 

The financially savvy Virgin Money customers made the most of Black Friday sales. Noteworthy jumps in November spending were seen at The Perfume Shop (20% increase), LOOKFANTASTIC (13% more), and Lush (14% more). 

Black Friday bargains continued to wield their influence. ASOS witnessed a third more spending in November than October, totaling £2.5 million. Next also benefited, with a 6% spending boost in November compared to the preceding month, raking in a total of £18.1 million this autumn. 

Surveys conducted among UK consumers echoed these spending patterns. Over half (57%) allocated similar or increased budgets for style and wellbeing, due to upcoming social events and the allure of those tempting November sales. 

As Christmas approaches, UK adults expect to spend an average of £493 per person, with 21% planning to spend more than last year. A significant 44% admit their higher spending is driven by increased prices, despite purchasing the usual items. 

Yet, amidst the festive fervor, Virgin Money's customer data reveals Brits are still worried about their finances. Spending cutbacks have been noted, especially in eating out and holidays, as people aim to balance their budgets. Eating out expenditures dropped by £23.22 million (8%) in autumn compared to summer, as financial worries prompted 28% of Brits to cut back. 

Interestingly, 26% of UK adults plan to go out less in December, citing increased costs (55%), saving efforts (36%), and weather concerns (27%).  

Ruth Brougham, head of digital banking at Virgin Money, said: "Customers are making the most of the seasonal sales to help their money go further and maximise their budgets, which is important for many in the run up to the festive season.” 

Virgin Money's mobile banking app offers clever tools for budgeting and tracking transactions, ensuring customers feel in control. Additionally, a range of savings products is available, helping customers make their money work for them. Whether it's a spectacular holiday season or saving for life's milestones, Virgin Money is here to support its customers.

Explore Virgin Money’s savings range.