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Rising cost of living triggers ‘Thriftmas’

Reporter 5 minute read

Nearly three quarters of Australians will spend less this Christmas than last year, due to the increasing cost of living, a new survey has found.

According to the Christmas Spending Survey from Homeloans Ltd, Aussies are planning for a “Thriftmas” this year, with more than 70 per cent of respondents saying they will spend less on gifts due to the rising cost of living. 

The findings are up on last year’s results, which found that less than two thirds (64 per cent) of respondents would be tightening their purse strings because of the cost of living. 

The survey found that women are more likely to decrease their spending this year than men, with two thirds of female respondents saying they plan to spend less than they did last year, while 56 per cent of men said they would be more frugal. Further, 45 per cent of male respondents said they plan to spend more than $500 on Christmas presents this year, compared to 38 per cent of women. 

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On a national level, a quarter of respondents said they plan to spend less than $200 on gifts, with the largest proportion of spendthrifts residing in NSW (where 30 per cent said they aim to spend under $200). 

However, the survey revealed that most respondents (72 per cent) do not save money specifically for Christmas expenses, nor do they put money into a separate account. Those most likely to do so were under the age of 24 (38 per cent of whom said they would save for Christmas) or living in South Australia (35 per cent). 

Joanna Pretty, general manager – marketing and digital at Homeloans, commented: “The rising cost of living is curtailing the Christmas spending habits of many of the survey respondents. 

“Finances are obviously tight this year, with many cutting corners where they can. Some reasons given include the increasing cost of private health insurance; higher fuel, power, phone and grocery costs; and wages remaining static.” 

Looking forward, the survey results showed that financial matters are top of mind for the new year, with 91 per cent of those aged between 18 and 24 and 80 per cent of those in the 25 to 34 age bracket saying they would make a financial resolution for the new year (compared to 77 per cent of those aged 35 to 44 and 67 per cent of 45 to 64 years of age). 

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Of financial resolutions, ‘reduce debt’ was the most popular ambition. Overall, almost a third of respondents said they want to reduce their debt. Another third are seeking to save more money, while a quarter want to manage their money better by controlling how much they spend.  

[Related: Rising risk of mortgage defaults]

Rising cost of living triggers ‘Thriftmas’
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