Have you finished your Christmas shopping?

We’re a nation of festive forward planners, expecting to have completed over half (52 per cent) of our Christmas shopping by the end of November. Some are even keener to get the shopping out of the way having done almost a fifth (19%) of buying by the end of October, according to research on our Christmas shopping habits by Sainsbury's Bank.

5% of super-organised people start in January

Five per cent of super-organised people like to start their Christmas shopping in January for the following year, taking advantage of the post-Christmas sales; and an additional five per cent get going during the spring and summer months. However, most say that they start in November (27 per cent) and a quarter of us (25 per cent) are prepared to leave Christmas shopping until December.

Most Christmas shoppers (62 per cent) say that they plan to use cash and debit cards the most for their purchases, although eight per cent plan to use a mixture of cash and credit cards.

Collecting rewards points is a big pull for canny Christmas shoppers who plan to use credit cards, with over half (57 per cent) saying they will use a credit card to benefit from rewards. Other reasons for using credit cards are for convenience (13 per cent); and to spread the cost with 0 per cent purchase cards (2 per cent). Other shrewd shoppers like to redeem their reward points and vouchers to mitigate the cost (five per cent).

Simon Ranson at Sainsbury’s Bank, says: "Christmas is a time to enjoy spending time with family and friends, usually accompanied by lots of shopping as we search out the perfect gift for loved-ones. Spreading the cost of shopping with 0 per cent credit cards, or by using your reward points, such as Nectar, can certainly help with the family finances."