70% of Aussies still have Christmas gift shopping to do

Over half overspend when leaving to the last minute.

15 December 2016

A ME poll completed 15 December − just 10 days before the big day − finds almost three-quarters (70%) of Australians who buy Christmas gifts have not yet finished their holiday shopping, contributing to the risk of overspending.

Over half (54%) of Christmas gift shoppers say they ‘typically spend more than planned when they leave Christmas gift shopping to the last minute’.

When it comes to procrastinators who ‘haven't started their Christmas gift shopping yet’ (21%), more men (26%) than women (16%) say they have not bought a single gift yet.

"With so many still shopping at the last minute, the risk of overspending increases," said ME Head of Deposits and Transactional Banking, Nic Emery.

"Although the hustle and bustle of last-minute shopping is a reality, shopping at the last minute often forces you to make heat-of-the-moment decisions and go over budget because of the time crunch."

Other findings of the poll include:
• Gen Ys aged 18-34 are the biggest procrastinators, with 79% saying they have not finished their gift shopping.
• Australians have spent or plan to spend an average of $576 on their Christmas gift shopping this year.
• Just 30% of Australians have completed their Christmas gift shopping as of 15 December.
• 29% of Australians opted to not cap their festive spending by foregoing a Christmas gift budget altogether.
• 12% of Australians choose not to buy any Christmas gifts at all.

Emery said there are some easy ways to keep your holiday expenses in check:

Set a budget and track your spending. You can’t budget if you don’t know where your spending is going.
Do your research. Research prices online before hitting the High Street or ‘adding to shopping cart’ to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
Have a repayment plan. For those using their credit card to pay for their holiday purchases, it is important to have a plan in place to pay off the balance as quickly as possible after the holidays to avoid incurring interest charges.
Keep up with regular savings. It can be a challenge to stick to your regular financial plan at this time of the year. Make sure to put money aside towards your financial goals separate from your holiday shopping budget, to keep your longer term plans on track.


Editor notes: Survey conducted via Pure Profile closing 15 December using an online survey method. Survey completed by 1,000 Australian adults.