Australians are generous when it comes to giving gifts, spending almost $20 billion a year – $1200 a year for every adult, according to new research.
The Financial Planning Association is kicking off Financial Planning Week with the release of a research report on Australian gift-giving, arguing that it is a significant enough part of the household budget that it should be factored into our planning.
According to the FPA report, Gifts that Give, we spend an average of $437 on our spouses, $361 on children, $210 on parents and $115 on pets. Women are more generous than men when giving a gift to their partner.
We spend an average of $137 on wedding gifts, $117 on Christmas gifts and $50 on birthday gifts for children who are not our own.
The research reveals a strong preference for giving and receiving gift cards or cash, rather than tangible gifts.
Many people say they want to give gifts that will have a lasting impact (the FPA suggests an appointment with a financial planner would be a good option and one that would be well received).
The FPA’s chief concern is that 73 per cent say they have no budget allocation for gifts. Reflecting our busy lives, gifts are increasingly purchased on the fly.
Among those who do plan, one increasingly common strategy is bulk buying, with one in three people saying they buy multiple gifts in advance as a way to save time and money.
Another growing trend is group giving, with 73 per cent saying they have contributed money for a group gift. Among Millenials, the proportion is 81 per cent.
Two in five Australians have re-gifted, with women (48 per cent) more likely to re-gift than men (35 per cent). The FPA applauds re-gifting as “a smart strategy to reduce waste”.
Is it time to bring back the Christmas Club account?