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Media Release

Australians are much more savvy when it comes to spending and saving this Christmas

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Nearly half of Aussie’s admit to a stress-free Christmas this year by purchasing their gifts earlier in the year or saving ahead of the festive season.

Sydney, 4 December 2014 – With the Christmas shopping season now in full swing, St.George Bank’s annual Christmas Consumer Spending Report shows how Australians are planning to spend and save this festive season.

The research reveals that 23% of Australians aren’t worried about costs this Christmas, which is an increase of 5% compared to last year, and nearly half (44%) said they had already purchased their gifts earlier in the year to reduce their money worries of Christmas.

Christmas gifts remain the biggest contributor to the expense list, and there are a number of ways people are planning to keep spending down, including:

  • More than a third (39%) have been putting away money and saving for Christmas throughout the year
  • One in five (17%) of Australians said they will cut back on spending this year, a 11% decrease compared to this time last year when 28% of Australians declared they will curb their spending
  • The most popular way to save at Christmas is still reducing the number of people on your Christmas list, with a third (37.7%) of Australians voting friends the most likely group to be cut from the list. Conversely partners make the very top of the Christmas list followed by children, then parents and siblings.
  • Almost one in five (18%) will go halves with a family member or friend to purchase gifts
  • 13% will hand-make or DIY their Christmas presents, with women twice as likely as men to take this option
  • $500 still remains the most popular spending limit for gifts according to two-thirds of Australians.

Andy Fell, General Manager Retail Banking at St.George Bank said the research follows a trend from the past 12 months showing Australians are becoming a nation of savers, being much more savvy through budgeting better and saving throughout the year.

“The fact that Australians are able to save more reveals less cautious behaviour than previous years, and a willingness to spend - particularly on immediate family members.”

“While nearly half admitted to already shopping for many of their gifts, I think we’re still in for a busy spending season as a further 50% of respondents nominated the week and weekend before Christmas as the most popular time to do their shopping,” Mr Fell said.

A quarter of Australians (24%) plan to be finished their shopping within the first two weeks of December, yet one in five men still voted themselves most likely to be ducking to the shops on Christmas Eve.


Key findings:

  • One in five (18%) Australians said they will cut back this year, compared to one in four (28%) last Christmas.
  • 26% of Australians say gifts are the most expensive part of Christmas, followed in close rank order by catering (22%), Christmas parties (18%), travelling to see family (17%) and decorating the house (9%).
  • While 39% of people have already saved money  for Christmas, another 22% will still need to save more in the next two to three weeks to cover their costs, 16% said they will cut back in the weeks leading up to Christmas and 12% said they will be putting it on their credit card.
  • Three quarters of Australians plan to spend $500 or less on Christmas gifts with a further 23% spending between $100 and $250. Men were more likely to be more generous with their gifts with 20% of men saying they spend over $500 compared to 13% of women.
  • A quarter (25%) plan to be finished their shopping in the first two weeks of December with the majority (56%) planning to be finished in the week leading up to Christmas. Those aged 60 and over are most likely to be already finished Christmas shopping, followed by women in their thirties who were most likely to finish shopping by mid-December and men more likely (17%) than women (11%) to leave their shopping until Christmas Eve.


For more information or interviews, please contact: 
Penny Mahon
St.George Bank
0434 185 590