Christ­mas spend­ing cut­backs on wish lists

The Western Star - - Life - SO­PHIE ELSWORTH

SAVVY con­sumers will limit ex­pen­di­ture on gifts and hand over fewer presents this year to keep their spend­ing in check.

Just over five weeks re­main un­til Christ­mas ar­rives and bud­get-con­scious Aus­tralians are not afraid to stick to a strict spend­ing limit.

New in­de­pen­dent anal­y­sis in the St. Ge­orge Christ­mas Spend­ing Re­port sur­veyed 1000

Aus­tralians and found:

46 per cent of house­holds have agreed on spend­ing lim­its.

30 per cent plan to give fewer presents this year.

50 per cent of house­holds would spend up to $1000 for Christ­mas.

St. Ge­orge Bank gen­eral man­ager Ross Miller said the find­ings showed many Aus­tralians were “putting a limit on what they are spend­ing this Christ­mas”. “It’s early enough to get your bank­ing records from last year, have a look at them and if you’re not happy with that, work out what you can do dif­fer­ently,” he said.

The re­port also found when it comes to pay­ing for presents, food and fes­tive hol­i­days a ma­jor­ity (44 per cent) said they would use their ev­ery­day reg­u­lar spend­ing ac­count.

This is fol­lowed by us­ing a credit card (31 per cent) and stashed cash (21 per cent).

“Over­whelm­ingly peo­ple are us­ing the money they have ver­sus a credit card and that’s about not hav­ing a (fi­nan­cial) hang­over, ”Mr Miller said.

“Have a look at what you spent last year and if you’re one of the Aus­tralians that don’t want to use their credit card, think about how much you have got or want to spend.

“Set your­self a limit and be care­ful to con­sider the hid­den costs of Christ­mas.”

Ris­ing Tide Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices di­rec­tor Matt Hale said the best way to ap­proach Christ­mas was to pay for items now and not later.

“Bring the pain for­ward so you avoid re­gret,” he said.

“Make a re­al­is­tic list and get re­ally com­fort­able with it. Check what you are spend­ing of­ten.”

Mr Hale sug­gested pay­ing for all items one way – for in­stance, if you were pay­ing by cash buy ev­ery­thing this way so you could keep track of your spend­ing.

Sep­a­rate re­search from ING has found that, to stop fam­ily and friends wast­ing money, 26 per cent of Aus­tralians pre­fer to say what they want for Christ­mas.

And there are pre-Christ­mas sales ahead for shop­pers to grab bar­gains, in­clud­ing Cy­ber Week­end, which fea­tures Black Fri­day on Novem­ber 29 and Cy­ber Mon­day on De­cem­ber 2.

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