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Will gift giving compromise your finances this Christmas?

RMIT University 2 mins read

Research from Finder shows that Australians will spend more than $30 billion this Christmas, representing a 10% increase compared to 2022. With each Australian expected to spend $1479 on average, a finance expert shares their tips on how to balance giving with a budget. 

Dr Angel Zhong, Associate Professor, Finance 

Topics:Christmas, spending, cost of living 

“As the festive season approaches, the joy of giving can often be overshadowed by the financial strains associated with holiday spending.  

“This year, amidst economic uncertainties and evolving consumer behaviours, it becomes crucial to approach Christmas shopping with a strategic mindset.   

"People are becoming increasingly mindful of their budgets. This doesn't necessarily mean a decline in festive spirit; rather, it's a recalibration of priorities. 

“Here are several practical strategies to make the holiday season enjoyable without breaking the bank: 

  • Plan and prioritise: Identify your gift recipients and allocate a reasonable budget for each. Prioritise meaningful gifts over extravagant ones. 
  • Embrace DIY: Personalised, homemade gifts can carry more sentimental value than store-bought items. Consider the charm of a handmade ornament or a carefully crafted treat. 
  • Secret Santa or gift exchanges: Opt for a Secret Santa approach within friend or family groups. This way, each person only has to buy one thoughtful gift, reducing financial pressure. 
  • Leverage technology: Look for online deals, discounts, and cashback options. Utilise budgeting apps to keep track of expenses and avoid impulsive purchases. 
  • Experiences over things: Consider gifting experiences or services rather than physical items. This not only aligns with the growing trend of experiential giving but can also be more budget friendly. 

"Consumers should be mindful of the emotional triggers associated with holiday marketing. The pressure to overspend can be intense, and it's essential to stay grounded in financial reality. 

 "The joy of the season doesn't hinge on the price tag of gifts. By adopting strategic and mindful practices, individuals can make the most of the holidays without compromising their financial well-being." 

Angel Zhong is a finance academic who specialises in empirical asset pricing, digital finance, global financial markets, investor behaviour and the recent trends in retail investing.    

Contact details:

Interviews: Angel Zhong, 0433 810 413 or   

General media enquiries: RMIT External Affairs and Media, 0439 704 077 or

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