Almost two-thirds of surveyed Australians have cash or store vouchers at the top of their Christmas wish list this year.
The findings were derived from a survey of an independent panel of 1005 Australian adults commissioned by parcel delivery service CouriersPlease.
65% of respondents would prefer cash as a gift this Christmas, followed closely by supermarket, department store or shopping centre gift cards (chosen by 61%).
“All five living cost indexes rose between 0.5% and 2% in the latest quarter, according to the Bureau of Statistics’ most recent report,” says CouriersPlease CEO Richard Thame.
“The latest CPI inflation data indicates that the price of many services is continuing to rise, and any progress is expected to be slower than previously expected.
“Our research shows a shift in attitudes towards Christmas gifts, in line with these economic trends, suggesting many Aussies would prefer a monetary gift that will bring them financial relief.”
Coming in third on the wish list, after cash and gift cards, is travel vouchers, with 34% of respondents selecting this option, followed closely by restaurant vouchers (at 32% of respondents).
“As the cost of living continues to impact Aussies, many have no choice but to cut back or eliminate luxuries such as travel and dining out,” says Mr Thame.
“Food in Australia increased by 4.8% in September compared with the previous year, and house prices are expected to continue rising nationally by 4.9% into 2024, indicating that the helping hand will go a long way this Christmas.”
CouriersPlease found that all age groups in the survey are keen to receive a gift card, with 50% of 18–30-year-olds, 65% of 31–50-year-olds and 64% of over 50s selecting gift cards as a top choice.
Respondents were also asked what their worst Christmas gift would be, with more than a quarter (26%) of respondents choosing a second-hand item. This was unanimous across all age groups, sitting at 26% for 18–30-year-olds, 24% of 31–50-year-olds and 28% for those over 50.
Not far behind as the second-worst Christmas gift is an appliance or gadget that won’t be used, such as a ‘fad’ kitchen gadget (17%), as well as a non-functional decorative item, such as an ornament (chosen by 13%).
Making a ‘genuine difference’
Mr Thame says Australians have made it clear that they want cash and vouchers, not only because of their monetary value but because it enables recipients to shop sales and get more out of their gift.
“As Aussies struggle with everyday costs, people can find confidence in gifting their loved ones with cash or gift cards, knowing they’re making a genuine difference in their lives and gifting them something they actually want and will be of use,” he says.
“Our research suggests individuals are looking for gifts which allow them to experience something memorable, such as a meal out, shopping trip or a hotel stay.”