Financial stress of Christmas impacts on the spirit of the season

Financial stress at Christmas
Friday, December 13, 2019

Opinion Compare conducted a national survey of n=821 New Zealanders to gauge an understanding of their plans for Christmas this year and as it’s the season for giving, we’re sharing the results below.

71% of kiwis agreed that Christmas is getting more expensive every year and for half (50%) of the population, this time of year makes them feel financially anxious. Females are significantly more likely to be anxious (60%, compared to just 40% of males) and while not significant, financial anxiety peaks amongst 35-44 year old’s.

Potentially explaining their lower levels of financial anxiousness, when looking at their approach to paying for Christmas expenses, males tend to save more throughout the year (66%) in order to pay for gifts and associated Xmas costs.

11% of the population will go into debt as the only way to pay for Xmas expenses with an additional 33% using a combination of debt and savings to get by.

It is females who are twice as likely as males – 15% compared to 7% to use debt to pay for expenses at Christmas. Single parents are significantly less likely (32%) to have put money aside during the year to pay for Xmas compared to average (56%) as well.

While anxiousness about finances at Christmas decreases as the household income of respondents increases, Interestingly however, households with an income of over $100,000 are just as likely to use debt as the only way to pay for Xmas (12%) as households with an income of under $50,000 (13%).

We delved into the predicted and actual spending on the festive season and it’s expected that the average total cost of Christmas this year will be $1,121. Interestingly, those who will be going into debt to finance Christmas are planning to spend more this year ($1,211) than the average kiwi. The majority of those who go into debt tend will spend a significantly higher amount on purchases for their children and on family members and the least amount on themselves. 

Gavin Male, CEO and founder of NZ Compare says that this is where sites like Opinion Compare’s sister site Money Compare can help ease the financial stress of Christmas.

“Don’t wait until the New Year - get your finances sorted with Money Compare today. Money Compare is completely free to use, the quick and easy tools help you compare financial products and make an informed choice. If you have to go into debt at Christmas, you can look at options to get debt-free quicker by consolidating your debt and making sure you don’t pay more than you should in interest and fees.” 

Or, why not be part of the conversation and join Opinion Compare? Male says, “Members of Opinion Compare complete surveys about all sorts of topics earn points and then redeem those points for gift vouchers from top New Zealand brands. That could certainly ease the financial strain next Christmas!”

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