Retail, Innovation and Manufacturing reporter for the NZ Herald

Parents and in-laws draw the short straw this Christmas

Christmas shopping at St Lukes. Photo / Dean Purcell
Christmas shopping at St Lukes. Photo / Dean Purcell

Parents and in-laws will be missing out this Christmas as Kiwis look to spend less on the Christmas season.

The latest Mastercard consumer research survey found almost a third of Kiwis, or 31 per cent, said they felt more financially stressed about Christmas compared to last year.

In order to cut back on costs, those surveyed said they were planning to spend less on gifts for parents and in-laws with almost half saying they would only spend $50 on their parents compared with 20 per cent spending that amount last year.

Spending on siblings was also getting cut with 60 per cent planning to spend under $50 compared to 35 per cent in 2015.

Although 58 per cent of people planned to spend around the same amount this year on Christmas, 29 per cent said they would spend less to try and reduce their December costs.

The main reason for this was having less disposable income according to 56 per cent of those surveyed, or having budgeted to spend a lesser amount.

Peter Chisnall Country Manager for Mastercard New Zealand and Pacific Islands said it was good to see Kiwis taking practical steps to help manage the financial impact of the holiday.

"Christmas costs can add up when you combine gifts, travel and food, which can mean the holiday period can be the most financially stressful time of year for many," Chisnall said.

"The reality of Christmas is that expenditures increase over this period, so having a clear strategy around how to manage your money makes a big difference."

Overall half of New Zealanders said they expected their total household Christmas spend would be under $500 on items such as food, travel, presents and decorations.

"Ways to ease the holiday pressure include saving or spreading purchases throughout the year, and for others reducing the number of gifts purchased or setting a smaller budget can go a long way to making the silly season more enjoyable," Chisnall said.

"The key thing is to have a practical approach and plan ahead."

Children were one of the biggest expected Christmas expense with 20 per cent of respondents saying they were spending between $200 and $300 on gifts for each child.

Kiwis planned to spend the least amount of money on friends and extended family, with 71 per cent only planning to spend up to $50 on friends and 66 per cent planning to spend that amount on extended family.

For 35 per cent of Kiwis, saving for Christmas has continued throughout the year, however 31 per cent said they were relying on their November and December pay cheques to fund Christmas

- NZ Herald

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