Going away for Christmas holidays is once again off the agenda for many Australians due to higher living costs and the DIY trend appears to have worked its way into holiday preparations, according to a poll released by non-bank mortgage provider Homeloans Ltd.
The Homeloans’ Christmas Spending Survey shows the rising cost of living is impacting householders’ travel plans - three quarters of respondents said they won’t be going away for Christmas, mirroring last year’s results – and the amount they’re planning to spend this year on Christmas presents. Almost 69% will spend less on Christmas presents compared with previous years.
Will Keal, Homeloans’ national marketing manager, says there was a strong response to the question regarding whether people will be going away for the holidays, with many simply stating they ‘can’t afford it’. Some of the key reasons cited included the rising cost of health insurance, childcare, school fees, food and utilities.
With roughly 70% of respondents saying the higher cost of living has impacted their Christmas spending this year, many are doing what they can to cut down on spending. More than half (58.1%) admitted to purchasing gifts at retail sales during the year in order to save money and reduce stress at Christmas time.
“Online shopping is also proving more popular, with almost 60% choosing to shop online to reduce costs and also because it’s more convenient – and as an added bonus, you don’t have to cope with the Christmas crowds.”
Some householders are even opting for a DIY Christmas, with 17.1% responding that they will make their own Christmas presents this year, with hampers, baked foods, cards and gift tags proving popular.
With risings costs an issue for many, the online poll revealed that there has been an increase in people who have a special Christmas savings account – 11% compared with 6% in 2011. The number of people saying they will use credit cards to purchase gifts has remained static at approximately 56%.
“But budgeting is obviously very important, with around 68% of respondents saying they put a limit on each Christmas present for family members and half set budgets for their total Christmas present spend. The average spend per person on individual gifts ranges from $50 - $100.”