Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Christmas crunch: 60 per cent of Kiwis stressed about cost

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Research has found Kiwis will spend an average of $623 on Christmas gifts this year. File photo supplied

Kiwis will spend an average of $623 on Christmas gifts this year.

Women are much more stressed about Christmas costs than men while almost two-thirds would pay more for a sustainable gift.

The majority of Kiwis feel stressed about the cost of this year’s Christmas, according to the latest research from personal finance information website Banked.

A survey of 1020 New Zealanders found that 60 per cent of Kiwis describe themselves as either a ‘little stressed’ (46 per cent) or ‘very stressed’ (14 per cent) about the expenditure involved with this year’s festivities.

Women are feeling under more pressure than men, with 70 per cent reporting some level of stress, compared with 49 per cent of men.

Banked’s Christmas spending report found that Kiwis will spend an average of $623 on gifts this year. Women said they expect to spend $566 on average, while for men that figure climbs to $712.

“With rocketing inflation and a cost-of-living crisis to contend with, lots of New Zealanders are really feeling the pinch this Christmas,” says Kevin McHugh, head of publishing at Banked.

“Many will be worrying about their personal finances when they should be able to wind down and appreciate some well-earned time off with friends and loved ones.”

Banked’s research also found that sustainability is an important consideration for Kiwis when buying gifts. Almost two-thirds (65 per cent) say they would be willing to pay more for a gift if it was sustainable, such as one that involved zero waste or was made from recyclable materials.

Younger people are even more interested in sustainable gift-giving, with 76 per cent of those aged 18-24 (falling into the Gen Z age group) stating that they would be willing to pay more for a sustainable gift.

Conversely, under half (49 per cent) of those aged 55 and older say they would be willing to pay extra for a gift if it was sustainable.

“Sustainability is a vital issue and it’s pleasing that so many Kiwis are willing to support it, even if it costs them a little extra at the checkout,” says McHugh.

Top ways to save this Christmas

  • Don’t feel obligated to spend beyond your means – “Christmas is an expensive time and many feel pressure to spend money that they don’t have,” says McHugh.

“Don’t feel an obligation to buy gifts you’ll struggle to afford or take part in every costly social event. Put your wallet and your wellbeing first.”

  • Secret Santa or group gifting – “Arranging a Secret Santa is a great way to cut costs. It can also be lots of fun and lets you focus on getting a great gift for one person.
  • “Chipping in with others for a group gift is another excellent way to save, plus it makes it possible to purchase an otherwise unaffordable present,” says McHugh.
  • Set a budget (and stick to it) – “It can be easy to overspend at Christmas. But by setting a budget and keeping track of your spending, you’ll make managing your finances over the festive period much easier,” advises McHugh.

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