Almost half Australian shoppers break their Christmas budget, says Afterpay

Person holding out a present wrapped in Christmas paper.
Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash

While the holiday season can be a merry time, some also dread its arrival. With family tensions potentially already running high, the financial pressure of gift-giving can add to holiday stress.

A new report from Afterpay which surveyed more than 1,700 shoppers found buying gifts was the most stressful part of Christmas for 38% of Australians. 

Almost half (49%) of shoppers also admitted to overspending every holiday period and blowing their budget for the season.

So, how can you avoid a dramatic Christmas splurge?

Mozo has a handy gift-giving guide to help you save money this festive season, with tips for making presents, shopping secondhand and hitting savings goals while you spend. Afterpay’s report also found the majority of shoppers will be getting in early and buying presents during November and early December to spread out holiday costs, as well as jumping on online shopping sales during this period.

Younger generations in particular will be taking advantage of sales like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. More than half of those surveyed by Afterpay said they’d be nabbing discounted items this year, compared to only 4% of Baby Boomer shoppers. 

Shopping in-store vs online: What’s best this Christmas?

Despite Gen Z’s penchant for digital purchases, 44% of this younger cohort said they’d be relying on in-store assistance and inspiration for gift ideas. 

While a larger proportion of people now shop online, Afterpay forecasts in-store shopping will overtake online purchases by early-to-mid December. They expect shoppers will be looking to avoid delivery delays that have plagued 2021 due to high demand and supply chain disruptions.

And while one shopping method doesn’t necessarily beat the other in terms of price or quality, there are pros and cons on both sides. 

Shopping in the digital world generally provides broader options and more discount opportunities, but you can’t inspect items before you buy and could face fees to return them. Meanwhile, showing up to shopfronts means you can assess items personally and potentially haggle down prices. But Afterpay’s research shows shoppers are more easily influenced while shopping in-store, so you may be more inclined to make a rash purchase if stock runs low and you still need to tick off your Christmas shopping list.

Whatever way you choose to shop, make sure you’ve got a bank balance that can cover costs (plus a little extra for if you go over budget). And if bank account fees or withdrawal limits are impeding your Christmas shopping, it might be time to reassess your transaction account by comparing it against a few of the options listed below.

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