Survey shows consumers will spend less vacation at home this christmas

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AUSSIES are planning to say “Merry Thriftmas” this holiday season, by spending less and holidaying at home, a recent survey has discovered.

The annual Christmas Spending Survey by Homeloans.com.au found that increasing costs in everyday life are forcing more than 70 per cent of respondents to batten down the financial hatches in the festive weeks ahead.

Women led the miserly movement with more than two thirds planning to cut back spending compared to last year, while 56 per cent of men aimed to be more frugal.

The rising cost of living is curtailing Christmas spending, Joanna Pretty, Homeloans.com.au spokeswoman, said. This year, more than 70 per cent of respondents cited that as the reason why theyll be spending less on gifts. That compares with less than two thirds in 2015.

Some reasons given include the increasing cost of private health insurance; higher fuel, power, phone and grocery costs; and wages remaining static.

Holidays were under the microscope for eager savers, with more than 75 per cent planning a staycation, by holidaying at home, rather than travelling.

The way we shop is changing also, with 40 per cent of respondents planning to buy more than half of their gifts online, up from 36 per cent last year.

Its not surprising that Millennials are more likely to use retailers digital offerings, with almost 50 per cent of 18-24-year-olds buying online, Ms Pretty said. Young adults and millennials are very savvy when it comes to navigating the plethora of online stores and finding the right gift at the right price.

Some of this period is also likely to be spent planning a better financial year for 2017, with reducing debt named as the most popular New Years resolution.

Younger survey respondents were likeliest to focus on financial goals in 2017, with 91 per cent in the 18-24 age bracket and 80 per cent in aged 25-34 making a money resolution; compared to 77 per cent of those aged 35-44 and 67 per cent aged 45 and over.

Coffs Harbour safety manager Skye Howell plans to slash her Christmas shopping bills this year by being more prepared.

Last year I went overboard and ended up spending more than $1000 on immediate family, Ms Howell said. This year Im making a list and checking it twice.

A mother of a six-year-old and a four-year-old, Ms Howell found that it was the impulse buying that added up.

With the kids its a matter of seeing things and thinking they would like it, so you buy it, she said. Last year they had so many presents I dont even know that they got around to playing with all of them.

This year, she has been doing most of her shopping online.

Its less stressful that way and you dont walk past hundreds of things that your kids might like on your way out of the shop, she said. Im hoping to save around $650 this year, so spending less than half of what I did last year.