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Media Release

Aussies to spend $10.7 billion this Christmas

Aussies to spend $10.7 billion this Christmas

Aussies to spend $10.7 billion this Christmas. Millennials spending up to $1000 on gifts.

Christmas shopping will set Aussies back $10.7 billion this year with 85 per cent of millennials spending up to $1000 on gifts, new Commonwealth Bank research reveals.

The 2018 Commonwealth Bank Christmas Consumer Spending Study found that some generous millennials (15 per cent) are splurging over $1000 on gifts (over $400 above the national average), with most saving only a month in advance (39 per cent), and finishing their festive shopping less than a week before Christmas day (31 per cent).

As a nation, the research shows it’ll be a mad rush to the end, with 2 million Aussies leaving their festive purchases until Christmas Eve, over half (56 per cent) heading in-store or online without a budget, and more than 1 in 3 not keeping track of what they’re spending (39 per cent).

Michael Baumman, Executive General Manager Everyday Banking, says: “The joy of Christmas often comes from giving the perfect gift. With fantastic in-store and online shopping experiences on offer, it’s easy to get caught up in the festive frenzy and lose track of what you’re spending.

“The best chance of making sure you stick to your budget is to set a plan and monitor your spending. Our CommBank app makes it easy for you, by providing Spending Notifications every time you use your card.”

Other key research findings include:

  • The busiest shopping days – Christmas spending will reach peak on the 15th, 18th and 22nd December, when most people will be shopping for friends and families
  • Husbands, dads, boyfriends and brothers – almost two-thirds (62 per cent) of all men will be buying gifts without a budget in mind
  • NSW and the ACT biggest spenders – on average, NSW and ACT are set to spend the most on Christmas gifts, at $637, while VIC/TAS will spend the least, at $519
  • WA least likely to set a budget – more than half (61 per cent) of all WA shoppers admit having no plan for their spending over Christmas
State Population Xmas Gifts *Avg Spend ($) Xmas Gifts Total Spend ($)




VIC / TAS 5,145,170




3,706,871 $557






WA 2,019,255







Stay in the black this Christmas, and leave the red to Santa with these simple tips. Mr Baumann says:

  • Be specific with your budget: “We all know that the hip pocket can incur a significant hit during Christmas. Setting a budget can help you keep your spending in check, but the trick is to be specific. Understand what you can feasibly spend in total and then break this down into categories, such as presents, food, travel, to name a few. This will help you avoid unexpected costs and know where you can afford some wriggle room if you need it.”
  • Set a limit with credit card spending: “We know customers increase their spending around this time. If you’re going to use your credit card to pay at Christmas, set a spending cap to ensure you stick to your Christmas budget. Customers can set a credit card limit simply by logging into the CommBank app.”
  • Save ahead of time: “The data revealed that nearly 20 per cent of Aussies start saving for Christmas two to three months in advance. While it may be a little late for this year, think about getting a savings plan in place as soon as possible to help manage your spending throughout the festive season.”

About the Commonwealth Bank Christmas Consumer Spending 2018 Study

*The Commonwealth Bank Christmas Consumer Spending 2018 Study was undertaken by ACA Research in November 2018. Results are compiled from an online survey of 1,044 Australians 18+, with quotas set based on the latest population estimates sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.