Aussies Set To Spend $13.2 Billion on Christmas This Year

How much are you going to spend on Christmas gifts this year?

For many Australian households it’s the most expensive time of the year and in the end many will be saddled with credit card debt in the new year.

A new nationwide research survey of 1,027 Australians, conducted for debt solutions provider Fox Symes reveals that collectively the nation will spend a huge $13.2 billion over the festive period with half of this amount, or $6.7 million, just on gifts.

Here’s how we’ll spend our money

  • One third of all gift purchases – $2.4 billion – will be spent on presents for childrenChristmas Present 2178635 1920
  • Individually, each adult is expected to spend around $342 on presents, comprising $219 on gifts for their partner, extended family, friends and colleagues, plus $123 on kids’ gifts.
  • Other expected outlays include $100 per person for new outfits to wear during the festive season, $92 for food over Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, $53 on alcohol, $44 on festive décor and $49 on miscellaneous purchases.
  • All up each person will spend around $680 each.*

However, when it comes to kids presents, it seems no-one’s more generous than grandparents.

Those aged 50 plus, many of whom are in the grandparent camp, will be allocating more of their Christmas spend than Gen Xers and Millennials towards buying gifts for children (33 per cent compared to 26 per cent and 18 per cent).

They will also spend a larger chunk of their budget on food (22 per cent compared to 17 per cent and 16 per cent).

In stark contrast, fashion conscious Millennials are expected to allocate more of their Christmas spend on new clothes to for the festive season (13 per cent) compared to only 9 per cent of Gen X and 4 per cent of Baby Boomers.

The post-Christmas period is the number one highest period of accumulated debt for Australians.

Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) data reveals the nation borrowed $29 billion on credit cards last December and it’s predicted to be a similar, if not worse, story this new year.

“If you’re starting to panic as to how to pay for everything, you could always opt for a more minimalist Christmas this year by making some of your own gifts or not going over the top with food. Try to simplify things where the kids are concerned and just give adults a token gift. 

Then next year pledge to budget accordingly for the following festive period.”says Fox Symes’ director Deborah Southon.

If you do have a blow out this December, Ms Southon suggests the following tips to face your debt in the new year:

  • Do not simply avoid creditors, attempt to address your debts with a plan of action.

  • Have only one credit card and pay off the monthly balance in full.

  • Pay down the debt with the highest interest rate first.

  • Reduce all your spending costs down to bare necessities and put aside money each week to pay down debts.

  • Seek professional advice either from the National Debt Helpline or another body.

Gifts for partner, other family, friends, work Secret Santa $4.3B $219 32%
Gifts for children $2.4B $123 18%
New clothes to wear during festive period $1.9B $100 15%
Food for all Christmas celebrations with family and friends (this may include meals on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day) $1.8B $92 14%
Alcohol and other drinks for all Christmas celebrations $1.0B $53 8%
Any other expenditure $0.95B $49 7%
Home decorations including festive décor, table decorations, Christmas tree and garden lights etc $0.85B $44 6%
TOTAL $13.2B $680 100%



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Rita Thomas


is a Property Strategist with an accounting background and over 30 years’ Commercial Banking experience. She is a passionate property investor who enjoys helping her clients create wealth through property investment using Metropole’s strategic approach.
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