This post is part of my 10 Week Christmas Planning Series. Click here to read more posts – Christmas Planning 2013.
Last week I shared how much we spent on our kids at Christmas and then asked if you would share what you spent in a quick survey. Thanks so much to the 359 readers who completed it for me on such short notice.
There was also some great discussion on how much to spend on kids at Christmas on my facebook page here and here. A common theme from parents was that they were spending too much!
I found the results surprising and interesting. We spend around half the amount on our kids at Christmas compared to the Australian families surveyed. To take out currency issues I filtered the results to provide data from the Australian responses. 88% of respondents were from Australia and on average they are spending $143 per child at Christmas.
While the sample size for internationals was small and there would be currency issues to take into account, Australians on average were spending less per child, with the international average spend on each child at Christmas being $159.
Budgeting and Christmas Spending
Whether or not you set a budget for Christmas did not make a significant difference to how much was spent on the kids at Christmas. I found this surprising so dug a little deeper and found that:
- 33% of respondents who set a budget admitted they regularly came in over budget.
- Those who do not set a budget spent on average $141 per child.
- Those who regularly spent more than their budget spent on average $155 per child.
- Those who regularly came in under budget spent on average $123 per child.
- Those who regularly spent exactly their budgeted amount spent on average $133 per child.
So setting the budget is only the first step to spending less at Christmas. You need to track your spending and stick to the budget!
Kids Age and Christmas Spending
The age of children did have an impact on how much parents spent on kids:
- Parents whose eldest child was under 10 spent $136 per child.
- Parents whose eldest child was 10 or older spent $167 per child.
Income and Christmas Spending
The average household income of a family did have an impact on how much parents spent on kids for Christmas:
- Families with a household income of less than $100,000 spent on average $139
- Families with a household income of more than $100,000 spent on average $151
A bigger differentiator with regard to income however was the make up of the income:
- Families with two full time incomes spent on average $175 per child at Christmas
- Families with less than two full time incomes spent on average $129 per child at Christmas
Amount per child in the family
In the survey I asked whether you spent the same amount on each child in the family and the approach parents took regarding this, did impact how much they spent. Those who responded:
- No – I just make sure the overall value is the same – spent on average $146 per child
- No – I just make sure they have the same number of gifts – spent on average $148 per child
- No – I only buy what they need – spent on average $117 per child
- Yes – always – spent on average $140 per child
- Yes – I try to, but sometimes it varies – spent on average $148 per child
I also asked for any tips on how to spend less at Christmas and received a great collection, which I will publish in an upcoming post.
What did you think of the results, were they a surprise to you too?