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Top 5 ways Aussies blow the Christmas budget


Laine Gordon

By Laine Gordon

4 min read

Everybody likes to cut loose on Christmas and enjoy a bit more of a relaxed take on their consumption and spending. What are the top areas Aussies will spend their money on this year? A recent report by IBISWorld may hold the answers.

"With total retail spending forecast to jump by 35.2 percent this December, compared with average expenditure over the previous 11 months, all retail categories can expect a share of the spoils. However, department stores are expected to outperform competitor categories with an anticipated sales spike of 94.1 percent," said Stephen Gargano senior analyst for IBISWorld.

According to research revealed in November 24, a month before the big day, Australians will almost double their monthly spending in some areas.

1) Up 94.1 percent — department stores

When Christmas shoppers dip into their savings accounts to top up the stockings over the fireplace, convenience seems to be the order of the day. Department stores which offer a lot of variety, and perhaps the opportunity to complete multiple gift purchases in one visit, top the ranks of holiday money-magnets.

Department stores are not only good for gifts, but also offer decorations, summer sports and activity equipment and all of the entertainment options we enjoy at this time of year. It's no wonder, then, that Australians are drawn to them come Christmas time. 

2) Up 76.7 percent — footwear and accessories retailing

With the amount of spending on shoes and accessories a little over three quarters higher than its usual monthly allotment, it seems the country will be looking very stylish on December 26.

Including many smaller items, it's easy to see why people tend to gravitate towards these easy gift ideas. If you know the kind of style your gift-receiver prefers, choosing an accessory to complement their wardrobe could be an ideal present.

3) Up 66.2 percent — clothing retailing

With an extra two-thirds of monthly spending going towards the contents of our closets, it appears that the nation is looking to cover up in advance of summer. While this is probably not the case, clothing certainly features high on this list.

A bit more costly, it's easy to understand why fewer people would be swiping their credit cards for garment purchases than accessories. It's also quite likely that many people take the opportunity to update their own wardrobes with their holiday pay.

4) Up 59.4 percent — liquor retailing

Liquor retailing is an unsurprising fourth place, with Christmas parties, seasonal baking and a few gift packs here and there creating a substantial demand.

For those anticipating a few cups of eggnog this season: Remember to have a happy, as well as safe, holiday this season.

5) Up 56.2 percent — electronic goods

One of the biggest and most expensive areas on the list, but still sneaking into the top five, purchases of electronic goods are expected to be more than one-and-a-half times their usual monthly volume.

Beware the impact on your savings account when succumbing to big expenses like TVs and home entertainment systems that are on special! Saving money on big ticket items can feel good at the time, but it is still money being spent.

Remember when doing your Christmas shopping that not every expense is necessary. There are several ways to cut down on your spending to keep your credit card bills to a minimum over the festive season. Of course, the aim of the holidays is to enjoy yourself, so there's no need to be a scrooge either — look out for timely advice on how to reduce Christmas spending.

Having a less stressful holiday can be a gift in itself, so make sure your plans include a balance of fun and reasonable spending. This means when you go back to work, you won't be spending the first few months of the year working off the guilt of overspending during the holidays.

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