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Thrifty Christmas: 4 In 5 Kiwis Are Tightening Their Belts

News highlights:

  • The average person is expected to spend $561 this holiday season
  • The cost of a traditional Christmas dinner has increased by 10%
  • Ways to save money this holiday season

As Kiwis gear up for a big holiday season, many are getting thrifty with their finances, according to new research by financial comparison site Finder.

A new nationally representative survey of 1,507 respondents found New Zealanders are set to shell out $1.8 billion on Christmas this year, with the average person expected to spend $561.

Gifts top the list of festive expenses, with Kiwis expected to fork out $253 on presents – down from $352 in 2020.

New Zealanders are hoping to spend less this year – the research shows four in five (80%) are looking for ways to curb costs this Christmas.

Actions Kiwis are taking to save money include setting aside money in advance (40%), shopping for presents early (39%), and implementing a gift limit with loved ones (21%).

Angus Kidman, Finder’s editor-at-large in New Zealand, said many consumers are planning to spend less this Christmas.

“2022 has been tough, and holiday season spending is down compared to previous years.

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“Ongoing economic uncertainty and the emerging Omicron has made everyone more aware of their spending habits. Emergency savings have become a bigger priority."

Millennials will be the biggest spenders this Christmas, forking out $631 on average, while Baby Boomers ($438) will spend the least.

“From presents to Christmas parties, celebrating the festive months can be expensive – but you can limit your spending without curbing all the fun.

“Kiwis have spent months away from their loved ones and will be hoping to enjoy an extra-special Christmas this year – just without the holiday debt hangover,” Kidman said.

This comes as new Finder analysis shows the cost of a traditional Christmas dinner has increased by 10% over the past 12 months.

Using data from Stats NZ's October Food Price Index 2021, Finder calculated the cost of ingredients for a no-frills Christmas meal for 4 people, including salad, meat, vegetables, dessert and non-alcoholic drinks.

The analysis found it would cost approximately $44.82 (excluding alcohol) to prepare a basic festive meal – an increase of 10% when compared to the cost of the same meal in 2020, and an increase of 20% when compared to 2011.

Kidman encouraged New Zealanders to go easy on their bank accounts this holiday season.

“Buying a gift for every family member could set you back hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Instead, try a Secret Santa and only shop for one person.

“Setting a gift limit can also minimise how much you spend on each present.

“The New Year can be a jam-packed month full of parties and celebrations. You don’t need to say yes to everything, especially if it’s going to put a dent in your wallet.

“Instead, pick and choose just a few events – this will also save you from social burnout.”

The research found Kiwis (80%) are more likely to be slashing their holiday spending than Australians (67%).

© Scoop Media

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