Australians are cutting back on their Christmas spending this year. Picture: iStock.
Australians are cutting back on their Christmas spending this year. Picture: iStock.

The costs you can do without this Christmas

EXCLUSIVE

Frugal Australians will be regifting presents and avoiding Christmas parties to limit their spending this festive season.

The cost-conscious have conceded handing over gifts they have received from someone else and avoiding boozy bashes would be part of their plan of attack.

New independent analysis in the St. George Christmas Spending Report of 1000 people found one in 10 Australians would be regifting or recycling presents to put under the Christmas tree.

And one in five people said they would be staying well away from Christmas parties so they did not have to open their wallets.

Regifting is set to be on-trend this year as Australians try to limit holiday-period spending. Picture: iStock.
Regifting is set to be on-trend this year as Australians try to limit holiday-period spending. Picture: iStock.

The Australian Retailers Association's executive director Russell Zimmerman said gift cards would be one of the most common items regifted.

"We know people get gift cards and they don't use them and they regift them," he said.

"People are also getting to a point where they have too much stuff, for instance they might have too many glasses so they might regift it."

Rising costs of living, non-existent wage growth, increasing unemployment and global tensions are among the reasons for concern this festive season.

And when it comes to celebrations one in five said they would drink less booze over the Christmas period to reduce spending.

Shoppers are cutting back on spending this Christmas to reduce their costs.
Shoppers are cutting back on spending this Christmas to reduce their costs.

The report found 21 per cent consider alcohol the biggest waste of money at Christmas followed by decorations (18 per cent).

The ARA last week predicted shoppers would splash $53 billion from mid-November through until Christmas Day, an increase of 2.6 per cent for the same period last year.

St. George Bank general manager Ross Miller said partygoers might notice less people kicking their heels up in December.

"If you turn up to a party and there's a few less people there's a one in five chance they've actually chosen not to be at the party because they have looked at their overall spending," he said.

"They know all those events and everything that happens over Christmas can cause so much unexpected cost, like taxis, Ubers, babysitting and outfits."

Crown Money Management's chief executive officer Scott Parry said too many Australians were "overextending themselves".

"They are spending money on credit cards and then they have to mop it up in the new year and the start it with a financial hangover," he said.

As for regifting he said it was a good idea "so long as you don't get caught".

"You certainly wouldn't want to be regifting the same gift to the person that gave it to you," Mr Parry said.

Latest Reserve Bank of Australia figures showed the number of personal credit cards fell by about 595,000 in September alone as more shoppers turn to buy now, pay later schemes like Afterpay and Zip Pay.

sophie.elsworth@news.com.au

@sophieelsworth



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