Kiwis planning ahead to ease Christmas spending stress

Published: Fri 8 Dec 2017 10:05 AM
Kiwis planning ahead to ease Christmas spending stress
Auckland, New Zealand – December 8, 2017 – As Christmas fast approaches, new Mastercard research has revealed that two thirds of New Zealanders have been saving their pennies (35%) or purchasing presents throughout the year (32%) to spread the cost of Christmas.
The Mastercard-commissioned research that surveyed over 1,000 New Zealanders on their Christmas shopping habits found that more people are planning ahead when it comes to their seasonal spending.
Kiwi men have been saving hard throughout the year to spread the cheer this holiday season (40%), compared to 2016, when they were more likely to have used their November and December pay cheques (34%) or saved throughout the year (35%).
The most popular option for women in 2017 continues to be buying throughout the year to spread costs (38% vs 36% in 2016), followed by saving up (31% vs 35% in 2016). Other popular options for all surveyed include using their November/December pay cheques (29%), or credit cards (27%) to fund purchases, while 12% of Kiwis have also been contributing to a Christmas Club scheme.
Despite planning ahead, many Kiwis (35%) are feeling more financially stressed this Christmas, up from 31% in 2016 and 27% in 2015.
“There is no doubt that the lead-up to Christmas can be a busy and stressful time for many Kiwis. While most of us will do our best to spend within our means, the reality is that the lead up to Christmas also means a spending rise for many Kiwis. It is great to see that many people are taking practical steps to manage their finances and reduce the impact the Christmas season has on their bank accounts,” says Peter Chisnall, Country Manager for Mastercard New Zealand and Pacific Islands.
We’re making a list and filling our trolleys
When it comes to gift giving, 15% of Kiwis have more than 11 people on their list to shop for. At the other end of the spectrum, 5% of Kiwis won’t be buying any gifts to place under the tree this year. However, the majority of Kiwis are planning on buying gifts for 1 to 5 people (45%), or 6 to 10 people (35%) this Christmas.
The kids will be the winners this year when it comes to what’s being spent on gifts, with more than a quarter of Kiwis (27%) intending to spend more than $200 per child, of any age, on presents. This compares to 15% spending more than $200 on their partners, and only 6% and 4% respectively spending greater than this amount on their parents or siblings.
When buying the perfect gift for a significant other, men are likely to spend more on their partners than women – with 17% of men saying they will spend over $200, compared to only 11% of women. Women are more likely to spend big on their kids, with 45% planning to spend more than $150 on their children, compared to 33% of men.
“Children are one of the biggest high spend categories in terms of purchasing gifts, but when the kids get older, they return the favour with a third (34%) of Kiwis spending more than $100 on their parents or in-laws. Whether you’re spoiling someone or operating on a budget, it is helpful to have a clear strategy and budget allocated to what you will spend on each person and then – most importantly – stick to your plan,” says Chisnall.
Over a quarter of New Zealanders will also splurge on their friends this Christmas with 27% intending to spend between $51-$100 and 58% intending to spend under $50.
Proving that we aren’t forgetting our pets, 83% of Kiwis will also be spending up to $50 on their honorary family members, while 6% will be spending more than $100 on presents for their furry friends.
Budgeting still a priority for Kiwis this Christmas
When it comes to setting a budget, more than half of Kiwis (59%) are looking to spend much the same as they did last year, while around a quarter (26%) will be tightening their belts and aiming to spend less overall this Christmas. 15 per cent of respondents said they are planning to spend more this year than the last.
For those who are increasing their budgets, the main reasons are that that they have more gifts to buy (52%), splurging on more expensive presents (34%) or they have more disposable income this year than last (30%).
People tightening their belts this season said they are doing so because they have less disposable income (55%), have budgeted to spend a certain amount (26%), or are putting their money towards other things (26%).
Overall, half of New Zealanders (52%) expect their total household spend in to relation to Christmas to be under $500 for everything – including food, travel, presents and decorations, while 17% are expecting to spend more than $1000.
“At the end of the day, the Christmas period should be a time to enjoy the holidays and relax rather than feeling under financial pressure. Although it is often easier said than done, one of the best ways to manage Christmas related stress is to set aside a budget, prioritise spending and plan ahead to ensure that Christmas is an enjoyable time for all,” says Chisnall.

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