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Cost of Christmas: Australians plan to fork out $30 billion


Australians are in for an expensive holiday season, according to new research by Finder.

A Finder survey of 1,061 respondents revealed the average Australian is expected to spend $1,479 each this Christmas – a 9% increase from the average spend of $1,361 in 2022.

This works out to be $30 billion on holiday spending, up from $27.3 billion last year.

The research found Aussies are set to fork out $533 on average for flights and accommodation – up 16% from $458 last year.

Presents come second, with the average spend predicted to be $373 – an estimated $7.6 billion on gift giving nationally.

This is followed by food ($249) and eating out ($133).

Those planning a boozy silly season will fork out $192 on alcohol – equivalent to $3.9 billion across Australia.

Sarah Megginson, money expert at Finder, said with 8 weeks left until Christmas, Aussies still have time to spread expenses out.

"The festive season is a notoriously expensive time of year and household budgets have already taken a battering.

"Christmas and all the associated costs can lead to a lot of financial stress, so it's ideal if you can start budgeting and planning ahead now, to spread costs out over a couple of pay periods."

Megginson urged Aussies to exercise restraint and set a clear budget for the silly season.

"Inflation and interest rates have hit us all really hard in 2023 and many are struggling to make ends meet. That means Christmas might look a little different to what you've had in previous years.

"You can still celebrate and enjoy the festive season without going into debt or putting yourself under financial pressure."

Megginson encouraged shoppers to make the most of the sales in the lead-up to Christmas such as Black Friday and Click Frenzy, where big brands can be deeply discounted.

"Consider chatting to family members and setting small budgets or adapting your traditions slightly – such as doing Secret Santa with the adults or only buying for kids, or all contributing to a potluck dinner so one person doesn't foot the entire budget of a Christmas feast.

"Don't overspend using a credit card or buy now pay later – the last thing you want is a New Year debt hangover."

How much money do you think you will spend on the following this holiday period?
CategoryAverage spendPercentage of those spendingNational spend
Presents$37378%$7.6 billion
Flights/travel$53330%$10.8 billion
Food (e.g. big holiday meals/entertaining)$24980%$5.1 billion
Alcohol$19264%$3.9 billion
Eating/drinking out$13357%$2.7 billion
Source: Finder survey of 1,061 respondents, October 2023

For more information on how Australians will be spending their money this holiday season, check out Finder's Christmas spending statistics page.

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