Families with poor finances cut down on Christmas presents

Christmas GiftsChristmas gifts. Photo: pixabay.com

Whilst low income groups plan to spend 30 percent less on Christmas gifts this year than last year, people with over a million in income expect to increase their consumption by 16 percent.

Adults in households with a income of up to 400,000 kroner plan to spend 2,750 kroner each on Christmas presents, shows a study YouGov has conducted on behalf of Nordea. This is a sharp decline from NOK 3,860 last year.

 “The class distinction is becoming more apparent during the Christmas season,” says economist Elin Reitan in Nordea.
“This can be a heavy burden to bear for many, especially for the children. However, much can be achieved if you talk to the children about what their expectations are for Christmas, and explain why it is not possible to fulfill all their wishes, she adds.
The survey reveals that adults in households with an income of a million plus , plan to spend Christmas gifts for almost  9,000 kroner each this year. This is a strong increase from last year’s spend for people in this group. Then the gift spend was NOK 7,600.
“Christmas is now a consumer and capitalist holiday. To many, it can be challenging to meet expectations both from others and themselves, says Reitan.
Buying Pressure
The average Norwegian plans to spend 5,200 kroner on Christmas presents this year. While men and women spend about the same on presents, the study shows that people aged 55-65 spend more than twice as much as people aged between 18 and 25.
For the group that earns between 400,000 and 600,000, there is an increase of 11 percent from last year on Christmas consumption, whilst there is a slight decline in spending among households that generally earn between 600,000 and 1 million.
Virke recently predicted that Norwegians will trade for around NOK 10,700 each in December this year. Of this, 4,460er will go on groceries, whilst 6,250 will be spent in other stores.
Reitan warns against giving in to gift buying pressure.
“The fear of appearing mean can make us buy more than we can strictly need to,” she says.
“At the same time, we are working hard to meet expectations from  our surroundings. Especially the children, who we do not want to disappoint on a day like Christmas eve. For many, the burden can be heavy.
Similar trend
In terms of total Christmas consumption, the trend is the same as for Christmas presents: The families with more money plan to spend far more than last year, while low-income families will tighten their spending.
The numbers say that households with less than 400,000 kroner in total income aim to cut their total Christmas consumption by 21 percent, from 6,000 to 4,750 kroner per adult person.
At the opposite end of the scale, the weathier with over one million in household income will increase consumption from just under 13,000 to 15,450 kroner per person , about 20 percent.
Reitan has some more advice at the start of a hectic holiday season: write gift list, set budget goals, cut the number of presents to buy and do not buy Christmas presents on credit.
“To reduce the risk of wasting food, it is advisable to show moderation when shopping for Christmas. The shops are also open over Christmas, says the consumer economist.

NTB Scanpix / Norway Today

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