How much will shoppers spend this Christmas?

The end of the year is usually a time of celebrating and cheer, filled with gift-giving and partying, but will that be the same for 2020?

New research reveals that nearly 4 in 5 (78%) households will spend less or completely forego these expenses this year.

The findings come from Money.com.au, via a survey of 1013 Australians.

On average, $19.8 billion is spent on gift purchases by Aussies each year.

However, the survey results show that 39% of people will spend less on Christmas gifts, while 12% say they won’t buy gifts at all.

“With many households experiencing financial hardship this year – and with an uncertain economic recovery – it may be wise to cut back spending on Christmas and holiday expenses,” says Money.com.au spokesperson, Helen Baker.

The local travel industry is also likely to suffer alongside cash-strapped households, with 20% of people saying they will reduce their holiday budget.

Overall, 44% of households will spend less on Christmas celebrations, food, gifts and a summer getaway this year, in comparison to previous years.

Purchasing gifts and other expenses for the December-January period can be a major financial stress for households.

Ms Baker advises, “Consumers may also want to consider not incurring credit card debt for these end-of-year expenses in case they are out of a job next year.

“However, if you are in a good position and use your credit cards for points, you may want to develop a strategy for it.

“Rather than pay your credit card when it is due, do a balance transfer to buy yourself say six months interest free. This will keep more of your money in your home loan offset account, for instance, guaranteeing a reduction in interest on your home loan, whilst also saving interest on your credit card.”

View the full survey results, here.

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