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By Brett Warren

COVID-19 hits Christmas 2020: 7 million Aussies planning to cut costs

How are your finances going?

While the latest figures show household savings are rising in Australia, unfortunately COVID-19 has put a dampener on Christmas spending this year according to new research by Finder.Children Money

A new Finder survey of 1,066 respondents revealed 37% of Australians aged 18 and above – equivalent to 7 million people – are planning to spend less money on Christmas compared to last year.

Those planning to spend less are reducing their budget by almost a third (32%), Finder research shows. With the average spend in 2019 at $969 per person on average, this would drop to around $659 ($310 less).

One in five (20%) will halve their annual Christmas outlay.

Data from Finder’s Consumer Sentiment Tracker found that a whopping 74% of Aussies are stressed about their current financial situation.

Bessie Hassan, money expert at Finder, said that forward planning is the key to saving at Christmas.

“There are just 100 days to go until Christmas – this is still enough time to create a feasible budget and work out your savings strategy.

“Planning ahead can save you big bucks, especially if you spread the cost over a number of months rather than holding out until December.

“November sales events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday are also a great opportunity to nab a bargain across a huge range of products.

“But keep in mind that Christmas 2020 will likely break records for the number of online shopping deliveries. Leaving your purchases to the last minute will be risky,” Hassan said.

After being disproportionately impacted by job losses during COVID-19, it’s the younger generations who are the most likely to spend less this Christmas, with 41% of Gen Y and Gen Z cutting back.

Victorians will also be tightening the purse strings more than any other state: 40% are planning to spend less, followed by 38% of Queenslanders.

Hassan said that many Aussies may re-evaluate what is truly important this festive season.

“After the tumultuous year we’ve had, it’s no wonder most people want to avoid a festive spending frenzy.

“While almost a third of us plan to spend less this Christmas, this doesn’t mean the holiday period will be any less meaningful.

“If anything, I think people will appreciate the value of friends and family more than ever before,” she said.

Are you planning to spend less this year on Christmas
compared to previous years?
About the same 47%
Yes, I will spend less 37%
I don't spend money on Christmas 6%
No, I will spend more 5%
I don't celebrate Christmas 4%

Source: Finder September 2020 survey 

Tips for lowering your festive spend:

  • Shop around. You’re only a few clicks away from comparing prices. Jump online and research the product you’re after to see if it’s in stock elsewhere at a cheaper price.
  • Stick to your budget. Be realistic about the amount you can spend, and keep track of your purchases so you know where your money is going.
  • Use a budgeting app. Budgeting apps like the free Finder app help you to track your spending and provide useful tips on where you can save. As a bonus, you also get to see your credit score for free.
  • Be sales savvy. There are at least 5 major sales days between now and December including black Friday and Cyber Monday. prices will be slashed across a huge range of products. Pencil the dates into your calendar so you don’t miss out!

About Brett Warren Brett Warren is National Director of Metropole Properties and uses his two decades of property investment experience to advise clients how to grow, protect and pass on their wealth through strategic property advice.
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