We are ahead this Christmas by saving in advance, going halves and cutting people from our lists writes Peter Bell.

With the Christmas shopping season now in full swing, St.George Bank’s annual Christmas Consumer Spending Report reveals Australians’ most popular ways to save money this festive season and it might surprise you – we’ve started saving earlier, gone halves and are cutting people from our Christmas lists!

How we’ve kept our spending down:

• Putting money away earlier in the year is the most popular way to save voted by more than a third (39 per cent) of Australians;
• Reducing the number of people on our Christmas lists – more than a third (37.7 per cent) of Australians voted friends the most likely group to be cut from the list;
• Going halves with family and friends – one in five Aussies will go halves with a family member or friend this Christmas;
• Handmaking or DIY your Christmas presents – chosen by 13 per cent of Australians; and,
• Setting a Christmas spending limit and sticking to it! $500 still remains the most popular spending limit according to two thirds of Australians.

The research reveals that 23 per cent of Australians aren’t worried about costs this Christmas, which is an increase of five per cent compared to last year, and nearly half (44 per cent) said they had reduced their Christmas financial worries this year by already purchasing their gifts earlier in the year.

When do we shop?

While nearly half admitted to already shopping for many of their gifts, I think we’re still in for a busy spending season as a further 50 per cent of respondents nominated the week and
weekend before Christmas as the most popular time to do their shopping.

Who will complete their shopping first?

Those aged 60 and over are most likely to be already finished Christmas shopping, followed by women in their thirties who were most likely to finish shopping by mid-December and men more
likely (17 per cent) than women (11 per cent) to leave their shopping until Christmas Eve.

Wishing all Queenslanders a safe and happy holiday season.

Call 3235 6701 to discover how St.George can help you get ahead for 2015.