Two thirds of people will drastically cut spending on presents and festivities this Christmas
Two out of three people will be making substantial cut backs to their Christmas spending this festive season according to a survey conducted amongst users of the online financial guide www.justmoney.co.za.
When asked "Are you cutting back on your spending on presents and partying this festive season?" the results of the poll made for predictable, but discouraging reading.
• 66% of people said "Yes, times are tight so I'm spending a lot less this year."
• 20% said "I'm not spending as much as last year."
The tightening of belts comes as little surprise to Justmoney's marketing manager Andy Gilder, who fears that the retail sector is in for a particularly tough festive season as people shy away from buying numerous and lavish gifts for their loved ones.
"Many retailers rely on the Christmas surge to make or break their year. With financial stresses as they are at the moment, people have begun to cut back on luxuries across the board. Although the cut backs have been going on for some time, it may well hit the retail sector in earnest over the next month as many shops lose out on what is traditionally their strongest sales period."
"When 86% of people tell us that they are cutting back in some way, we can be certain that store owners are going to see their usual year-end sales take a dip from previous years. Even if the next few weeks see a reprieve in the form of an interest rate dip, people are struggling to keep up with higher food and goods costs and it could mean that big Christmas parties and stockings full of presents may be unlikely this year."
Of those that remained unaffected:
• 8% said "No change. I'm spending as much as much as I always do"
• 6% said "What money problems? I'm spending even more this year."
When it comes to Christmas savings tips, Gilder advises that people remember that most people are in the same boat when it comes to money issues this Christmas and that trying to "out-do" other's gifts would be thoughtless. "Choose gifts based on the interests and tastes of those you are buying for, not on the price tag or perceived value of the present."
When planning your family festivities, Gilder reminds us that festive feasts with all the trimmings can quickly add up, so when planning your end of year celebrations, why not plan something low key and simply invite your closest friends and relatives?
"While it is great to have large gatherings with all the extravagance, when times are tight it is luxuries like dinner parties that we should be saving on."