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Christmas spending the latest victim of harsh cost of living

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Christmas spending the latest victim of harsh cost of living

Christmas spending

Christmas is fast approaching! But don’t get too excited – Australians are set to reduce Christmas spending and worry more this festive season, amid rising cost-of-living pressures.

This is according to Pureprofile’s ‘Global Christmas Report 2023’, now in its fifth year, which is based on the insights of 4500 panel members from Australia, New Zealand, the UK, the USA and Singapore.

Australians slash Christmas spending plans

Always an expensive, bountiful time of year, 65 percent of Australians are now looking to save money on Christmas expenses this year, up from 59 percent in 2022. Only one in five Aussies will not make any changes to their Christmas purchasing in response to inflationary pressure on their budget.

Gift budgets have decreased for the second year in a row, from $424 in 2022 to $388 this year. And, given inflation, these budgets will have to stretch further than ever. To meet these pressures, 42 percent plan on buying fewer gifts.

Similarly, 43 percent of Aussies are planning to save money by spending less on food and drink at Christmas, jumping from 37 percent in 2022 and 28 percent in 2021 and. One in four plan to cut costs by sourcing cheaper food.

At the top of Aussies’ Christmas wish lists are the evergreen practical options: gift cards (44 percent) and money (36 percent). 

Gift givers’ plans somewhat align with these desires: gift cards are the standout preference (47 percent) when choosing gifts for others this Christmas, while people seem reluctant to give money (24 percent) despite its popularity with recipients.

Cutting back on Christmas preparations

Marketers will need to get in quick this year: over two thirds (67 percent) of Aussie shoppers are planning to start Christmas shopping in November or earlier, while only one third (33 percent) plan to shop during December.

But Australian retailers should be wary of decking the halls too early this season. Although most Australians are either excited (30 percent) or indifferent (32 percent) about Christmas decorations in shops, 38 percent of Australians are annoyed or worried by these looming signs of the festive season, tending to view them as representing corporate greed.

Indeed, the cost-of-living crisis seems to have dampened enthusiasm for Christmas. With continued inflation during 2023, the extra demands on finances (38 percent) continues to be the leading negative driver during this time. Only 30 percent say they are not negatively impacted by various factors at Christmas.

Only 54 percent of Australians feel emotionally positive toward Christmas, trending down from the past two years of 57 percent in 2021 and 56 percent in 2022.

Christmas travel plans have also been hit, with only 40 percent of Australians intending to travel for Christmas this year.

In good news for local Australian businesses, only six percent of Aussies plan to travel internationally, reflecting the current high cost of travel, with 60 percent staying local for the holidays, and only one in three intending to travel locally or interstate.

Pureprofile’s full ‘Global Christmas Report 2023’ can be viewed here.

Cover image attributed to Pureprofile.


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Sam McLeod

Sam McLeod is a writer and intern at Marketing Magazine.

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