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'Tis the Season to Spend Wisely

Ah, the holiday season - a time for joy, laughter, and, let's face it, a tad too much spending. As the festive tunes are playing on repeat and the twinkling lights beckon us into a shopping frenzy, it's easy to get swept up in the holiday spirit and forget about that pesky little thing called a budget.

A recent nationwide survey by Finder reveals that Australians are set to spend a whopping $30 billion during the upcoming festive season, marking a 10% increase from last year's estimated $27.3 billion expenditure. While it differs between states, the average Aussie is expected to allocate $1,479 for Christmas-related expenses, covering presents, food, alcohol, dining out, and travel.

Victorians lead the spending chart with an anticipated $1,765 per person, followed closely by New South Wales at $1,657. Travel tops the list of expenditures at $533 per person, followed by gifts ($373) and food ($249). Notably, Millennials are predicted to be the biggest spenders overall, with an estimated average spending of $1,924, while Gen Z plans to spend the least at $1,023.

Many of those surveyed said they are tightening their Christmas budgets, with strategies such as shopping during sales, starting early purchases for food and gifts, setting gift limits, staying at home instead of traveling, and considering side hustles or second jobs. Some are opting for homemade gifts or regifting, while others are trimming guest lists, opening holiday savings accounts, or even contemplating a present-free Christmas.

We asked the Elladex team for their smart money moves when it comes to keeping Christmas spending in check. Our top tips:

*Shopping the sales, and always with a list and budget!

*Putting money aside each pay cycle throughout the year to enjoy a guilt free splurge- forward planning is key. 

*Homemade gifts – who doesn’t love home baked goods?!

*Secret Santa at work and large family gatherings- fun and frugal!

Remember, the holiday season is about spending time with loved ones and sharing joy, not about overspending and financial stress. With careful planning and thoughtful choices, you can enjoy a festive and memorable Christmas without the financial hangover.

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