Did you manage to hold back in December?

december shopping

december shoppingHaving to do Christmas on a budget was difficult for many of us, but it was an attitude adopted by families across Britain.

With 2012 on the horizon and plenty of senior businessmen and politicians predicting tough times ahead, the security of our families in the long-term had to take priority over short-term smiles on Christmas Day.

This meant careful bargain hunting as the big day approached, along with an increase in homemade presents, as people tried to be sensible during the silly season!

As a result consumer spending during the festive month fell, with a year-on-year drop of 5.3%.

Despite retailers laying on a whole host of cut-price promotions to drag us out of our saving mentalities, we refused to budge!

It wasn't just the high-street stores that suffered as telephone orders also fell, while there was a slight drop in online spending. Visa revealed that this was the first time for two-and-a-half years that there has been a year-on-year decline recorded for all three transaction methods.

The researchers behind the survey revealed that consumer spending has failed to recover since reaching a peak five years ago.

Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, which compiles the report, said: "With the consumer accounting for approximately two thirds of all expenditure in the economy, the downturn clearly adds to worries that the UK may be sliding back into recession.

"The data also highlights the plight that retailers have suffered over the key Christmas trading period, with even online sellers not immune to households' increasing reluctance to spend."

Are you looking for ways to cut down on your family expenses? Check out our Savvy Spending Calculator to see where you can save money.