Media Release

Last-minute Christmas shopping could be kinder on your hip pocket

  • New research shows leaving Xmas shopping to the eleventh hour could be better for your budget
  • Shoppers who get in early spend $716 on gifts; more than double compared to those who leave it to the last week
  • Gen X males in Western Australia labelled the most generous Christmas gift spenders

13 December, 2016, Sydney, Australia – Shoppers who begin their Christmas shopping earlier tend to pay more than double compared to those who leave it to the last minute, according to a recent survey commissioned by finder.com.au, Australia’s most visited comparison website1.

The survey revealed shoppers who start buying Christmas gifts in October or earlier tend to pay the price for it, literally, spending approximately 109% more than those who start purchasing gifts in the last week before Christmas.

Those who start buying gifts in October, more than eight weeks out from Christmas, tend to pay $716 in total for gifts, around 33% above the national average of $539. However, those buying four days prior to Christmas day will spend just $343 on gifts.

Bessie Hassan, Money Expert at finder.com.au, says the research indicates that starting your Christmas shopping earlier doesn’t mean you’ll spend less.

“While it may be better for your stress levels, getting in early doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be better off financially.

“In fact, starting earlier means you have more time to spend which means you could be more inclined to make impulse purchases if you haven’t budgeted properly.

“To cut costs on Christmas gifts, set yourself a cap on gifts and make a list of the people you’re buying for so you have structure to your gift shopping.

“Consider shopping online to see if you can get a discount on purchases and remember to ask about return policies and delivery/shipping costs so you know what you’re getting into,” she says.

The research also unearthed the biggest spenders on Christmas gifts; males aged between 35 and 54 years (Gen X) living in Western Australia. This group spends on average $936 on gifts, which is 74% above the average spend of $539.

Interestingly, the most frugal demographic are males over 55 years (Baby Boomers) from Queensland, who only fork out $278 on average for gifts, which is around half the national average.

It’s estimated that 40% of Christmas shopping will be spent on credit card or through loans this year, so it’s important to avoid overspending in the lead up to Christmas.

“It’s easy to get caught up in the festive cheer and while it may be tempting to take out a second credit card or to increase your limit, be conscious of your credit card spend.

“The last thing you want is to start the new year with a debt hangover, so if you’re struggling to repay multiple debts, consider signing up for a 0% balance transfer card so you pay no interest for the promotional period.

“Remember Christmas gifts are only one aspect of the entire holiday period, and there are plenty of other costs to budget for, such as travel, food and beverage, entertainment costs, and delivery/shipping fees,” she says.

Average spend by shopping time period

PeriodAverage spend on Christmas gifts
October or earlier$716
1st week of November$670
1st week of December$479
4 days before Christmas$343

(source: finder.com.au)

State average Christmas spend

StateAverage spend
ACT$391
NSW$607
NT$450
QLD$495
SA$473
TAS$450
VIC$511
WA$575

(source: finder.com.au)

1 Experian Hitwise since 2015

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Disclaimer

The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on finder.com.au's review pages for the current correct values.

About us

More than 3 million Australians turn to finder.com.au every month to save money, time and make important life choices. We compare virtually everything from credit cards, phone plans, health insurance, travel deals and much more.

Our free service is 100% independently-owned by two Australians: Fred Schebesta and Frank Restuccia. Since launching in 2006, we’ve helped our users make more than 17 million decisions.

We continue to expand and launch around the globe, and now operate in the United States and United Kingdom. For further information visit www.finder.com.au.

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