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Media Release

Aussie households say ‘snow’ more to overspending this Christmas

18 November 2019

Almost half of Australian households say ‘snow’more to overspending on gifts this Christmas, with self-imposed spending limits on Christmas presents this year.

New findings from St. George Bank suggest Australian households are slamming the brakes on Christmas gift giving this year with almost one in two Aussies (43%) setting spending limits on gifts to family and friends, and almost a third (31%) planning to give fewer gifts this year.

Despite this, few Australians plan to go ‘full Scrooge’ this Christmas.  Just one in ten (10%) said they’re not planning to give a gift to their partner, and even fewer (8%) said they would cut out gifting family and friends.

Ross Miller, General Manager for St. George Bank, said it was clear from the survey findings that even as Australians start trimming the fat on their spending, Christmas remains the season of giving – especially to loved ones.

“While most Australians are confident they can stay within their festive budgets, over two-thirds admit that, if anything, they are most likely to overspend on presents for their loved ones.

“The little ones in our lives tend to come first when it comes to gift-giving.  On average, Australian parents say they’ll splash out $255 on their children this Christmas.  That’s far above what we plan to spend on our spouses and partners, which is about $165.

“Despite our love of gift-giving, it seems securing that perfect gift for a loved one is far from enjoyable.  According to our survey, a third of households would rather clean their house than deal with the stress of gift shopping,” said Ross.

Beating the ghost of Christmas overspending

In an effort to curb overspending during the holiday season, many Australians have devised plans to cut back on their holiday expenditure.  Popular measures include holing up at home (29%), putting on simpler and thriftier Christmas lunches (29%), and easing up on the alcohol (20%).

The survey, conducted with over 1,000 consumers across Australia, also found households have set themselves an average spending limit of $500 on gifts.

Although sticking to budgets at Christmas can be incredibly challenging, Ross said it was a positive sign of budget savviness that Australian households are planning their holiday spending in advance.

“Filling the Santa stocking is rarely cheap but it doesn’t have to derail saving goals for the family either.

“At St. George, we encourage families to review their finances and accounts regularly. Budgeting tools like a budget planner calculator can help you plot out just how much to put aside and what for, be it a game console for the kids or a little treat-yourself perk this Christmas. “