Christmas is almost around the corner and you may already have started shopping for the big day. Christmas and budget may not go well together in your mind if you’re not used to plan your spending but it is often a necessity. There is a balance to find between enjoying the festive season to its fullest and not overspending. You do not want to start the new year with an empty emergency fund or credit card debt!
Let’s look at how much people from different countries spend for Christmas.
Americans spend the most at Christmas
- Americans spent an average of $781 on Christmas gifts last year. The average spend peaked at $866 in 2007.*
- Europeans spend less on Christmas gift with an average of €252 in 2014. The most heavy spenders are the British with €408. French only budgeted €284 for gifts.*
- According to this article, each Australian over the age of 14 spent an average of $2500 in 2014.
Beware that these numbers are only for gifts and don’t include food, decoration or card spending. It’s also an average number, some people spend more and other less. The same budget can be viewed differently depending on the person’s personal situation. Spending $700 doesn’t mean the same when you have a very large family with children and grandchildren. Traditions differ depending on the country, while the US and the UK still send Christmas cards other European countries do not consider it as an obligation. As we said in this blog post, a budget is personal and reflects your goals and values.
Personal experiences of Christmas budgeting
We found this Reddit personal finance thread interesting as it shows different views about Christmas spending. While some users say they spend nothing, one considers Christmas as an important event for networking and spends between $750 and $1000 each year. We learnt very useful tips with people saving a set amount each week to add to the Christmas fund or going to shop very early to grab the best deals. The amount spent on each gift seems reasonable, between $20 and $100. People sometimes set rules about the maximum price they offer each other with the most expensive amounts spent on children.
Planning and organization: the first keys of success
Now is a bit too late but if you spend a good portion of your income during the festive season, it makes sense to create a Christmas fund that you build up all year. It is also very important to get the info right, make a list of gift recipients with the maximum amount you want to spend for them. Try not to leave your shopping to the last minute and do some online research before heading to the store to get some ideas. Christmas shopping can be overwhelming and it is very easy to overspend and end up using your credit card.
Do you have any tip to make a successful Christmas budget? We will keep looking at useful info to give you to make this Christmas festive and budget friendly!
*These numbers originate from a study by www.statista.com