People are worried about Christmas costs

Six Christmas gifts wrapped in red, green, white and good wrapping paper and with ribbon bows
Image: Liliboas, iStock

‘Tis the season… to be extra frugal. And, unfortunately, worry about finances.

According to Herald Sun, recent research revealed that some people are planning to go without gifts this Christmas, due to financial strain.

40% of survey respondents told online market researchers, Toluna, that they are stressing about not having enough money for gifts. 19% of couples plan to forego gifts altogether.

Young adults under thirty- four have been hardest hit financially, with 75% of young adults saying they’ve changed plans due to cost pressures.

Even workplace Secret Santa is causing stress.

Toluna director, Sej Patel isn’t surprised that people are stressed about Christmas.

…it’s not a surprise that Aussies are also feeling the pinch this Christmas.

Our research shows that despite being under financial strain, the social pressures and expectations around gift- giving are making this a particularly difficult time of year, with some saying it is dampening their Christmas spirit

Sej Patel as told to the Herald Sun, 1 December 2022

Cost of living also a worry in Britain and the U.S.

Australians aren’t the only ones worrying about costt of Christmas.

Prices of essentials have skyrocketed in the UK.

Experts predict that inflation will remain at 11% for the rest of the year. According to British Retail Consortium, the cost of fresh food increased by 14.3% in November.

To ease financial stress, UK’s government has offered Brits a one- off paymebt of £650 (A$1154). That may help a little bit in the moment.

Regardless of what governments have done, people are struggling. Recent events around the world has turned everything on its head, including at the ‘most joyful time of year’.

Not surprisingly, cost of living has hit the U.S, too. According to the Ameican Psychological Association, almost 90% of U.S adults says inflation is causing stress.

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 90% of people are literally losing sleep because of financial stress.

This is catastrophic on people’s health. Lack of sleep causes a number of health problems including:

  • Loss of short and long term memory
  • Troubles with concentration
  • Increase risk of accidents
  • Increased risk of high blood pressure
  • Higher risk of heart disease

Tips on easing stress of Christmas spending

Young woman at laptop with credit card online shopping
Image: Geber86, iStock

So, what can you do to combat financial stress this Christmas?

Lisa Rapaport wrote some tips on Everyday Health. These include:

  • Don’t avoid financial reality. Deal with debts, expenses, etc with eyes wide open. Ignorance isn’t going to make it go away.
  • Set financial boundaries. Only buy gifts and other festivity items that you can afford. It’s a good idea to plan in advance and write a list of what to buy.
  • Focus on experiences, rather than gifts. Make the gift exchange into an event. Do a potluck or a family meal that will create lasting memories.
  • If you are in real dire need, turn to the local food banks in your area. Don’t feel ashamed if you need to turn to these services. The last couple of years have been a rollercoaster for everybody. Try and allow yourself and your family to enjoy Christmas. If you need extra support, get it.

Whatever you do for Christmas, try and make it as enjoyable as possible. Preferably without a massive debt following you into 2023.

Have you adjusted your plans this Christmas? Leave any thoughts in the comments below.