5 Surprising Facts For the Festive Season

5 Surprising Facts For the Festive Season

Australians are ready to spend up big on food, drink, gifts and charity this Christmas season.

1. Australians are set to spend over $7.6 billion on gifts

It’s the season for shopping, and Australians are ready to spend up big on food, drink, gifts and charity this festive season with Aussies last year spending an extra $1079 each between December and January, according to Commonwealth Bank research1.

2. More than half of us will get something we don’t want

Unfortunately, many of those gifts won’t be appreciated. Last year, well over half of Australians (57%) got a gift they didn’t like for Christmas, according to research from Canstar Blue3.  

Gifts of clothing, shoes and accessories were most likely to miss the mark, making up 24% of dud presents, while makeup and perfume accounted for another 17%. While most said their unwanted gifts would go straight to the back of a cupboard, 32% intended to sell them online, while almost 20% said they’d wrap them up and re-gift them to some other lucky recipient.

3. One in five will spend more than planned

The Commonwealth Bank also found that while more than half of us set a budget for the festive season, nearly one in five don’t stick to it1. On average, these spendthrift Aussies will splurge an extra $284, adding up to nationwide overspending of $507 million.

And the favourite cost-cutting trick of those who actually stick to their budgets? Using points from reward programs to buy gifts.

4. Charitable gifts are more popular than ever

If you don’t want your gift to end up gathering dust, here’s a gift idea that will definitely be appreciated — and will make you feel good too.

Charitable gifts let you celebrate your family and friends by making a significant donation in their name to an aid project overseas. And according to Oxfam Australia’s Emma Whalan, farm animal gifts are consistently in demand during the holiday season.

“The $10 chickens and $39 goats for families in South Africa, and the $37 piglets for a family in Vietnam have been this year’s most popular Christmas gifts. However, a $15 bag of cattle manure for Sri Lankan farmers has also been a big hit!”

“All Unwrapped gifts are real items that Oxfam uses to fight poverty across key areas of our work, including education, agriculture, health and emergency response,” she says.

Whalan says Australians are especially generous at this time of year, with donations increasing every December.

“About 80% of Oxfam Unwrapped’s annual sales happen in the lead up to Christmas.”

5. Cards trump cash — and we love to tap and go

We’ll be paying with plastic more often than ever this holiday season, as our use of cash continues to shrink. According to the Australian Payments Clearing Association, our average monthly debit and credit card spending is now more than seven times the amount we withdraw at the country’s ATMs2. And this year will also see a surge in the use of ‘tap and go’ contactless payments, which now make up 22% of all shopping transactions, according to the Reserve Bank.

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Disclaimer: This information is general information only.  You should consider the appropriateness of this information with regards to your objectives, financial situation and needs. Past performance does not guarantee future returns.

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