Revealed: What the ‘average SA citizen’ will spend on Christmas gifts this year

Despite the pandemic, Christmas still promises to be an expensive time for most South Africans. New data released by money lending specialists Wonga reveals that the average South African will spend an extra R5 673 during the festive season, with expenses ranging from travel, the jol, and of course, buying presents for friends and family.

Extra Christmas expenses pile-up

According to the research, South Africans are ready to put a traumatic year behind them – for a few weeks at least – and pump hundreds of billions of rand back into a struggling economy. However, these figures are understandably down from last year, with the impact of COVID-19 still haunting the retail and hospitality industries:

“Responses were received from over 8 200 individuals and the survey has revealed that South Africans will each spend an average of R5 673 over this festive season, over and above their usual monthly expenses.”

“Based on Statistics SA’s mid-year population size estimates, this means that working-aged South Africans are set to pump R210 billion into the economy, yet this reflects a 15% decrease in spending when compared to 2019. The trajectory of growth in spending year-on-year has been massively impacted.”

“The survey revealed that 56% of people think they’ll spend less this festive season than they did in 2019, given the severe financial impact that the pandemic has had. The 15% decrease in predicted spend is significant. But people are holding on and looking forward to a more positive year next year; 54% of the respondents say they are optimistic for 2021.”

Wonga statement

How South Africans are planning to spend their money

Some of the responses in regards to Christmas presents are fascinating. In fact, the stockings could be filled with some very different gifts by the time 25 December comes round: A whopping 45% of respondents are asking for money as a present this year, whereas 19% in the survey said they’d be buying for themselves this year.

You’ve got to look out for number one, but evidently, that won’t be at the expense of family. Around 75% of those quizzed say they plan to ‘spoil’ their relatives. Meanwhile, 21% of the sample size say they will be doing their shopping online, with 5% committed to making their own presents this year. And as for the spending breakdown? Judge for yourselves…

What do South Africans spend on Christmas gifts?

This festive season, the average South African will spend:

  • R1 354 on gifts and presents.
  • R1 909 on food and drinks.
  • R886 on transport costs
  • R792 on holiday accommodation.
  • R546 on unspecified expenses
  • R503 on ‘keeping themselves entertained’
c26a6948 festive budget - Revealed: What the ‘average SA citizen’ will spend on Christmas gifts this year
Photo: Wonga

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