Baby Boomers and Gen Z in Australia are most likely to cut back on Christmas spending

December 20, 2023, 4:57 AM GMT+0

With the end of the year rapidly approaching, the festive season brings with it celebrations, gifts, gatherings, and meals galore.

However, new YouGov Surveys data has found that more Australians have reported that their finances have gotten worse than better this year (37% vs 21%). This has resulted in 38% of Aussies claiming that they’re having to spend less on Christmas than last year. A similar proportion (37%) will spend the same and only 15% plan to splurge this festive season.

The cost of living looks to have had a larger effect on Baby Boomers, with almost half (47%) saying their financial situation has become worse since last Christmas. Understandably, 45% claim they’re cutting back on Christmas spending this year.

Members of Generation Z are divided, with around a third (32%) saying their financial situation has gotten better since last Christmas, however, another 32% think it has become worse. Despite the divide, they are likely to exercise caution, and two in five (41%) plan to spend less than last holiday.

On the other hand, millennials seem to have had a better year, with 29% saying their financial situation has become better since last Christmas, compared to 26% who said it has become worse. This is likely a contributing factor as to why they are more likely than others to say they will spend more this Christmas (at 24%, compared to 17% Gen Z and 13% Gen X).

In all, Aussies seem to be feeling the financial pressure, with 54% agreeing with the statement, ‘The cost of Christmas makes it all too stressful’.

Despite this pressure, 64% claim that cancelling the celebration is not an option.

When it comes to Christmas spending, Australians are most likely to spend on presents and gifts, food & drink and social events - the top 3 spending categories. On average, most consumers are spending up to $500 on each of these categories.

64% of Australians will spend up to $500 on Christmas presents, but 31% plan to spend over this amount. Food and drink were also popular, with 21% claiming they’ll spend over $500 on this.

Travel and staycations were the most likely to be cut back on, with 35% claiming they’re not planning to spend, however this was the second most popular category to spend over $500, with 23% claiming they’ve budgeted for this amount.

Men were significantly more inclined to spend over $500 across the board. For food and drink, 25% of men would pay over $500, compared to 16% of women. Men were also more likely to spend on travel and staycations, with 25% coughing up at least $500, versus to 20% of women.

Among the generations, millennials are more likely than others to splurge more than $500 across categories.

In order to fund their Christmas expenditures, over half (52%) of Australians are relying on their savings.

40% said they will fund the holiday with cash, and one in four will rely on Credit Cards. “Buy Now Pay Later” schemes (like AfterPay), and Digital Wallets will also help finance the season, with 16% and 17% relying on these respectively.