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Australia’s Christmas spending statistics 2021

Aussies will spend $1,232 each on presents, food, alcohol, eating out and travel.

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The festive season is a time for celebrating with family, friends and good food - but it doesn't come cheap.

A nationally representative Finder survey of 1,015 Australians aged 18 and over asked respondents how much they plan to spend across five key categories this Christmas. Here is what we found.

How much are Aussies planning to spend?

Australians are set to fork out $23.9 billion on everything from presents to pina coladas this festive season. That's equivalent to a 38% increase compared to last year's estimated $17.3 billion spend.

The average Aussie is expected to spend $1,232 this Christmas on presents, food, alcohol, eating out and travel.

Victorians will be spending the most of any state ($1,373), followed by those in New South Wales ($1,361).

What are we spending our money on?

Presents come at the top of the Christmas list this year, with an estimated $374 spend per person. This is closely followed by food ($308) and travel ($269).

Millenials are predicted to spend the most overall this Christmas ($1,518), while Baby Boomers plan to spend the least ($930). Gen X will spend the most on gifts ($406), while Millennials take the lead on eating out ($258) and alcohol ($148).

Women ($1,265) will be spending slightly more than men ($1,201) this holiday season. Women fork out $434 each on gifts on average - that's 39% more than men ($313).

Residents of New South Wales will splurge the most on travel ($360), while Western Australians will spend the least ($211).

How are Australians funding the cost of Christmas?

Just over half of Aussies (55%) will use savings to fund their holiday spending this year. Meanwhile 23% will have to go into debt to cover their Christmas costs - down from 28% in pre-pandemic 2019. This includes 14% who will rely on their credit card and 7% who will use buy now pay later services.

Men are more likely to turn to their plastic cards this festive season (17%), while women are more likely to rely on buy now pay later services (9%).

Gen Z are the least likely to go into debt in December with 65% fully funding the holidays with savings, compared to 47% of Baby Boomers.

Almost one in five Australians (19%) don't plan on spending any money over the holidays.

How Aussies are reducing their spending this Christmas

Two thirds of Australians (67%) are slashing their spending to get the most out of their festive dollar.

Almost one in three (31%) will start buying food and presents early to help control their spending, while 27% plan to shop for goods during the Black Friday sales to save money.

Almost one in four (22%) will implement a gift giving limit with loved ones and 10% will make homemade gifts to curb costs.

One in 10 Aussies (10%) has opened a holiday season savings account to be prepared to tackle the end of year expenses.

Regifting (7%), taking on a side hustle for extra cash (7%) and a present-free Christmas (7%) were all tactics Australians were implementing to lessen the blow this Christmas.

How many people will shop online this year?

Two in 5 Australians (42%) say the pandemic has made them more likely to do their Christmas shopping online this year, equivalent to 8.2 million Aussies. Nearly half (47%) say the pandemic has not impacted their shopping habits.

One in 10 (11%) say they're actually less likely to shop online this holiday season than previously.

Those from New South Wales (53%) and Victoria (49%) - the two states that have suffered the most from the pandemic - are the most likely to shop online this year.

The data reveals younger Aussies are more likely to browse the online sales than their parents. Around half of Gen Z (53%) and Millennials (49%) will be shopping online, compared to just 23% of Baby Boomers.

How to save money this Christmas

Shop during the sales. You can pick up Christmas goodies for a fraction of the regular price during the pre-Christmas sales. During this time huge discounts are offered across a range of fashion, homewares, electronics and more.

Online shopping can be cheaper for first-time customers. Many retailers offer a 10–20% discount for first-time customers who sign up online with an email address. This is an easy way to score a deal and you can always unsubscribe at a later date.

Open a Christmas savings account. Gradually adding to an account over the course of year means you can easily have $500-$600 saved by the time Christmas arrives. This type of account generally restricts access until the start of the holiday season, so you won't be tempted to dip into your savings before then.

Don't say yes to everything. From end of year celebrations to office Christmas parties, silly season merrymaking can come with a hefty price tag. It's okay to turn down the odd event here and there. This can end up saving you a small fortune over the holiday period.

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