Was Christmas always this costly? Aussies to spend $18Bn this festive season

Dec 16, 2019
The average Aussie household is tipped to spend almost $1,000 this Christmas. Source: Getty.

There are just nine days to go until Christmas Day and, as families across the country prepare to exchange gifts, a new report has revealed the true cost of Christmas, with Aussies predicted to splash out more than $18.8 billion collectively this festive season.

Comparison website Finder surveyed a total of 1,018 Australians to find out how much they typically spend on the holiday, from festive trips overseas to gifts for their nearest and dearest.

The results revealed that the average Australian household will spend $969 this Christmas, with travelling making up the bulk of that expenditure as Aussies are set to spend around $471 each on festive getaways.

Gifts were the next biggest expense as Aussies admitted to spending an average of $386 each on presents, which adds up to around $7.5 billion nationwide. While charitable donations accounted for $41 per person and decorations for the big day set people back around $40 each year on average.

Bessie Hassan, money expert at Finder, said: “Christmas is notoriously expensive. From end of year celebrations to office Kris Kringles, costs can start piling up from November.

“Christmas shopping can leave a serious dent in your savings. Not to mention the cost of food, alcohol and other festive goodies.”

Despite people’s willingness to spend however, Finder also found that more than a quarter of people (28 per cent) will not actually have enough cash to cover the cost of Christmas, meaning that more than 5 million will rely on credit cards (19 per cent) or buy now pay later schemes (7 per cent) to pay for their purchases.

Hassan said you don’t have to overspend this Christmas though and suggested taking action to avoid falling into debt. She said: “Stick to a budget and actively track your purchases to avoid overspending. Writing a list of everyone you need to buy for can help prevent those hasty, last-minute purchases.

“Those who do end up with post-festive debt should consider a balance transfer card. These typically come with an interest-free period of up to 24 months, and can take the sting out of your interest charges.”

One way you can save money this Christmas is to make your own Christmas decorations. Not only will this benefit your hip pocket but it will also give you a fun activity to enjoy with the grandkids.

And while homemade cookies and gingerbread houses are traditional, they aren’t the only things you can make in your kitchen. From nostalgic paper chains and popcorn tinsel, to homemade snowflakes and candle pieces, there are so many decorations you can personalise from the comfort of your own home.

To find out more about making your own decorations, read our story here.

IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your financial situation, objectives or needs. That means it’s not financial product advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a financial decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get independent, licensed financial services advice.

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How much do you spend on Christmas gifts? Do you think people spend too much nowadays?

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