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Australians dreaming of a tight Christmas

Australians dreaming of a tight Christmas

It may be a common gripe that Christmas comes earlier each year but new research has revealed that Christmas budgeting has already been underway in around one in five households since October.

The research comes from the 2013 RaboDirect National Savings and Debt Barometer (NSDB), an extensive study of Australians’ attitudes towards money and savings. The findings of the latest NSDB point to a lean Christmas for many with budgeting, bargain present shopping and agreeing a giving and receiving strategy between family members a key part of the planning process.

The survey found that Gen X were most likely to be planning for Christmas in October (22%), followed by Gen Y (16%) and Baby Boomers (15%).

The most common way of planning for the festive season was to set a budget ahead of time (58%). Additionally, 42% of people who started their planning early have already made a start on their Christmas shopping. For one third of people (32%) already planning Christmas, agreeing the giving and receiving strategy between family members had already been addressed back in October.

With Australians already expected to spend an estimated $42 billion this Christmas*, planning ahead will be crucial to avoid a last minute impulse overspend during the holidays, says Executive General Manager of RaboDirect Australia & New Zealand, Greg McAweeney:

“As a nation, we will be spending upwards of $40 billion this Christmas. That is a vast amount of money – in fact; it would be enough to end world hunger for 12 months if it was instead donated to charity. Or if you break it down further, this estimate amounts to about $1,800 per person – which could buy 20 Christmas turkeys; or an overseas airfare; or 90 trips to the cinema. With that in mind, it is heartening to see that one in five Australians are proactively planning to spend consciously and avoid impulse purchases during the festive season.”

Mr McAweeney commented that this trend reflects a change in sentiment that has been observed through many facets of the RaboDirect NSDB research. “This year we have seen a trend for Australians to be more engaged with their money – whether that means planning a budget or knowing their rates on accounts. A lot of people have been lacking confidence in the economy and as a result, their own financial circumstances. This has led to people taking greater financial control, and having a plan for Christmas is one such example of how people are becoming more engaged with their finances.”

Key findings amongst those who have started planning for Christmas

  • Gen Y was more likely than Gen X or Baby Boomers to set expectations with family members about gift giving (40% versus 28% for Gen Y and Baby Boomers).
  • Gen X was most likely to have started their shopping early (46%) compared to Gen Y (40%) and Baby Boomers (38%).

* Source: Russell Zimmerman, Executive Director Australian Retailers Association

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:

Michelle Ryan / Katharine Verville

BlueChip Communication

02 9018 8608 / 02 9018 8615

0404 381 886 / 0432 799 392