Stories | December 18, 2017

December is most expensive month – but when else do we splash the cash?

Spending changes across the seasons

From parties and presents to luxury panettone – everyone knows Christmas can be hard on the wallet.

Now a survey conducted by ING Belgium has confirmed that December is the most expensive month for most (40%).

Those in the 25-34 and 65+ appear to splash out the most when the festive season rolls around, with 48% and 51% of them respectively stating that December is the costliest time of the year. 

In second place is September, with 16% of respondents finding it the most expensive. This rises to 24% of those in the 45-54 age group, many of whom will be parents with back-to-school costs.  

But there are other times of the year when our wallets take a hit.

Spring spending
Surprisingly, when the clocks go forward in the spring – the start of Daylight Saving Time – we spend more, a study by JP Morgan Chase found. An hour of post-work daylight makes us more inclined to stay out and shop, it seems.

And when the clocks go back in the autumn and we lose an hour of evening daylight, the reverse happens: spending falls as we hurry home after work instead.

Spring is also the time when people will spend more on a house, according to an analysis of data by American property website Zillow.  It found that homes in the USA sold from mid-March to mid-April sold for two percent more than the average listing – a premium of $4,000.

Research by the London School of Economics backs this up. They found that American house prices increased by three percentage points in the spring and summer, while UK prices jumped by eight percentage points. With buyers more inclined to look for a new house when the weather gets better there’s more demand, so vendors can charge more.

Aside from the time of year, we also tend to spend more on goods when we pay with a credit card rather than cash, when we’re offered free delivery and even when we’re sad

eZonomics team
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