How Calendar Events Affect Our Spending

There are certain times of year that we all know we are going to spend a bit of extra cash for. The holiday season is often equal to the biggest shopping season, but Valentine’s Day, Mother’s and Father’s Day, and birthdays are not immune to a little extra spending, either! Gift buying can be stressful for many, as it can be difficult to save up money for these special days.

As calendar events and celebrations become increasingly commercialised, we feel more inclined to shop in order to celebrate the people we care about. Sixty-eight percent of people have felt societal pressures to buy gifts for calendar events, and more than 33% sometimes feel pressure to spend more on gifts than they can afford! As only 28% proactively save money in the run up to celebrations and festivities, it is good to keep in mind that there are a number of short term loans for bad credit available if needed.

So how do calendar events affect our spending? We decided to dig deeper to find out which events Brits spend the most on.


If you guessed that Christmas is the calendar event we spend the most on, you would be correct – 76% of general holiday spending is spent on the holiday. Brits spent £21 billion on the holiday in 2016, which comes out to £753 per household! If you think that is a lot, you may enjoy hearing why the tradition exists: it mimics the tale of the wise men bringing gifts to Jesus in the Bible. It is also a special time to share with family and friends, and to let them know that you love them and took the time and care to pick a special present just for them.

That being said, we all know the pressure of coming up with the perfect gift for each important person in your life! However it turns out that we are fairly consistent in the categories we like to shop. When it comes to spending around Christmas, 35% of gifts are food and drink, with gadgets and wearables following at 28% each, and home items accounting for 8% of gifts.


Birthdays are another big time for spending, as you want to shower the people in your life with special treats when they are turning another year older. Thankfully these are spread throughout the year, so there is not as urgent of a need to save up to buy multiple gifts. When it comes to birthday cards, Brits spend more than 300 million in a year – and that does not even get into the gifts themselves! Wearables are among the most popular gifts, with 39% of gifts falling under this category. Following that are gadgets (24%), food and drink (19%), flowers (10%), and home items (8%).

Valentine’s Day

Anyone who has been in a romantic relationship around February 14 knows that Valentine’s Day is another holiday that often leads to a bit of extra spending. As the second largest seasonal card sending time of the year, it is no surprise that approximately 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged each year! This traditional holiday was declared by Henry VII in 1537, so there is quite a bit of history behind the holiday that we all know today. Men account for 73% of Valentine’s flower sales, so you know this day is big for florists! Bouquets make up 42% of gifts for the holiday, with food and drink as a close second at 25%.

Mother’s and Father’s Day

Another important celebration that comes every year are the days celebrating your parents. Mother’s and Father’s Day are meant to make parents feel special and appreciated for all of the things they do for their families. Mother’s Day itself was started in the early 1900s by Anna Jarvis, however the commercialization made her despise the holiday, protesting against it in 1948. However the tradition stands strong today, and flowers are the most common gift (40%), with food and drink and home items tied for second (19% each).

While holidays can certainly be stressful for many, with nearly half of people going over their budget when buying presents for people, they will always be enjoyable times of year that are special to share with the people in your life!

Amanda Robbins

Amanda Robbins is a blogger for her own site Fashionably Clearance. She has a background in PR and communications, working for a global health nonprofit by day. Amanda adores the perfect blush manicure, long weekends away and getting an unbelievable deal.

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