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How much are Australians planning to spend this Christmas?

Have you prepared your shopping list or bought your Christmas presents yet?

Yes, it’s that time of the year again; the holiday season is smiling upon us, and the air is festive with Christmas cheer. And, going by the findings of a new survey, Australians are all set to splurge big bucks this holiday season, with the projected spending over the festive season expected to hit $25 billion or an average of $1,325 per person. The total expenditure on food and drinks is supposed to be more than $250 per individual.

 
Christmas Savings Plans
 

The survey also reveals that Gen X plans to spend the most, almost double of what the baby boomers intend to dish out this Christmas. Dividing the results by gender, women across generations expect to spend more generously than their male counterparts on buying Christmas presents for friends and family.


A merry Christmas for your wallet

It is natural for most of us to overspend on Christmas, especially when it comes to presents and holiday travel. However, digging too deep into your wallet could lead to an unhappy financial hangover post the holiday season, which you would like to avoid.

Research indicates that 40 per cent of the Christmas spending by Australians in 2017 was on credit cards. And, while most Australians are able to pay off their credit card bills, it is, indeed, a worrying trend as many people don’t even remember how much they spend on Christmas, probably because of the plastic payments that don’t hurt your finances immediately.

So, what can you do to avoid the financial hangover post-Christmas?

Here are some smart tips to help you manage your money better this holiday season:


Have a budget and stick to it

What’s the best way to prevent yourself from splurging?

The answer is as simple as planning your expenses in advance and drawing a budget you are going to follow!

Start by making a list of who all you are going to buy presents for, what you would like to get for them, and the maximum amount you are ready to spend on each person. Next, you must also prepare a list of the food that you are going to serve during the holiday season so that you have the exact list of ingredients, as well as the drinks, you need to purchase. Now that you know what you need, keep an eye out for specials and start picking up stuff in advance at the best available rates to save some money on basics. This same principle applies to holiday travel as well. By planning your travel in advance, you can beat the rush to get cheap deals on flights and accommodation, saving yourself a good amount of money.


Get creative with your gifts

If you have some spare time on hands, make your own Christmas cards at home to showcase your talent, as well as, save money. You can create bespoke gift baskets for your family and friends at home, which are much more personalised and thoughtful than store bought gifts. For example, you can curate a single basket with small items that the entire family is likely to enjoy instead of buying separate presents for each member – cost-effective and fun, isn’t it?


Fish for online discounts and cashback

If you are doing your Christmas shopping online, you can do a general search for coupons that you can use for checkout at various sites. Besides, there are several cashback sites such as Cash Rewards, Cashback Club, and PricePal that are very easy to use and can add to your savings on Christmas significantly through rewards and cashback deals. However, do not forget to account for shipping costs when you are shopping online. Often, shipping costs can add to your total bill ominously, and, it is best to shop on sites that offer free shipping to enjoy maximum savings.

Here’s an article you can read for safe online shopping tips.


Keep track of your expenses

Supermarkets are overflowing with attractive deals and products at this time of the year, which can tempt you to go overboard with your budget. Therefore, it is important to track your expenses while you shop so that you know the amount of money you have spent. You can use an online tracking app, such as ASIC’s MoneySmart’s TrackMySPEND app to set your spending limit for various Christmas expenses and track your spend while you shop.


Spreading the cheer!

Simple hacks can help you save precious dollars that you can use to pay down your debts and also avoid hefty credit card bills at the beginning of the new year! Remember, if you don’t have the cash to pay for your Christmas expenses, using a credit card is a convenient alternative, but it can cost you dearly by plunging you into a potential credit trap. So plan your expenses now and enjoy the holiday season, guilt-free.

Here’s wishing you a Merry Christmas from the HashChing team.

 
By Vidhu Bajaj,
HashChing Content Writer
 

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