THE average Australian is expected to spend an extra $1079 over Christmas with festive spending set to total about $17.8 billion between December 1, 2014 and January 6, 2015.
According to the survey of 1000 Australians from CommBank, most of the spending will go on gifts and festive vacations, accounting for $7.6 billion and $4.6 billion respectively.
Other areas Aussies are expected to spend a large portion of their festive budget include the Boxing Day sales ($2.6 billion) and entertaining friends and family ($1.7 billion).
Online retailers can expect a busy start to December, with the research revealing six million Aussies plan to do their online gift shopping.
However, the vast majority (72 per cent) of shoppers will purchase gifts at bricks and mortar stores, with festive spending expected to peak at shopping malls on Saturday 13 December 2014 when 3.2 million consumers are forecast to hit the shops.
Diana Mousina, Economist, Commonwealth Bank, says "While consumers have been sending mixed signals on their spending intent in recent weeks, our research shows consumers are planning to open their wallets and spend big in the lead up to, and directly after, Christmas Day.
"Interestingly, while consumers expected to have completed the bulk of their Christmas shopping by today, our research shows they are still planning to spend an additional $1079 and the bulk of that will go on gifts.
"Other areas we're expecting consumers to spend include entertaining friends and family, and eating and drinking in
and out of the home."
- Aussies forecast to spend an extra $1079 each between 1 December 2014 and 6 January 2015.
- Gifting and vacations to account for the bulk of additional consumer spending.
- Six million Aussies expected to shop online on Monday 1 December 2014.
- Bricks and mortar spending to peak on Saturday 13 December 2014, with 3.2 million consumers expected to hit the shops.
- Shoppers in New South Wales and Western Australia expected to spend the most per person on Christmas gifts, with Victorians forecast to be the most frugal.
Queenslanders will spend much less than NSW residents
Although nationwide consumers are expected to spend an average of $1079 each, there are some nteresting differences in spending across the main states.
Those in New South Wales are expected to spend the most, with an average spend per person of $1339, largely driven by higher than average spending on gifts, vacations and the Boxing Day sales.
Those in Queensland will spend the least per person, with an average spend of $779. This is largely attributed to lower than average spending on vacations, entertaining friends and family, and eating and drinking out.
Those who are aged 18 to 24 are the most likely to be going away on vacation (40 per cent versus a national
average of 29 per cent), while females will spend considerably more on vacations than men ($1058 versus $892).
Those aged 25 to 34 will spend most at the Boxing Day sales ($243 versus a national average of $156) and will also do more of their sales shopping online (39 per cent versus a national average of 28 per cent).
Couples are planning to spend more on entertaining friends and family than singles ($298 versus $108).
Consumers are expected to spend the most on gifts for children ($145) and partners ($125), while most people will spend more on themselves ($89) than their friends ($46) or work colleagues ($35).
While more than half (57 per cent) of Aussies set themselves a budget for the festive season, nearly one in five
(19 per cent) don't stick to it.
On average these consumers will overspend by $284, which nationwide means Aussies are overspending by $507 million.
Of the Aussies who do stick to their budget, the main ways they avoid overspending include:
using points from reward/loyalty programs to purchase gifts (28 per cent);
using comparison websites to find the best price (26 per cent);
cutting back on everyday items (23 per cent);
using group buying sites (17 per cent); and
pitching in as a group for big ticket items for friends and family (14 per cent).
GOOD FESTIVE BUDGETING ADVICE
Plan your budget and make a list - plan your budget well in advance of starting your Christmas shopping.
You can then work out how much money you have to spend between now and Christmas.
Make your budget all encompassing - while you may budget for things like gifts or holidays, it's also important to factor in things like going out for dinner or entertaining with friends and family.
Look at what you've overspent on historically - one of the best ways to manage your spending this year is by looking at what you overspent on last year.
With My Spend in NetBank you can categorise and graph your expenses into groups, so you can see exactly how you can avoid overspending this year.
Track your spending online or on your mobile - use your bank's online banking portal or mobile app to track your spending as you go.