While many Australians are feeling the pinch, one in four (25%) are planning to spend more than last year, and half (49%) will spend the same, according to new research from Afterpay.

The Afterpay Festive Forecast report, which reveals how Australians will balance shopping, spending and saving, is in line with new Australian Retailers Association (ARA) data which predicts that nearly $64 billion will be spent in store and online this festive season – a 3% increase on 2021.

While one-quarter (24%) of shoppers agree they’re finding it hard to save, Australians will be spending between $50 and $150 on average this holiday season. To balance additional spending, over half (56%) will look to purchase an item if it is on sale, one-quarter (24%) plan on cancelling or stopping certain activities such as subscription accounts, and one in seven (14%) plan to work longer hours.

Despite the tree not going up until December 1st, many Australians (41%) plan on shopping for gifts in November, including Black Friday and across the Cyber Weekend, with almost one in six (13%) cutting it close and waiting until mid-December and the week before gifts go under the tree.

Gift cards continue to be the most popular gift among Australians (18%), with the older generations more likely to give a gift card while the young generations prefer clothing, footwear and accessories. Friends and family (49%) are providing the most inspiration this festive season, while social media (42%) and gift guides (34%) also help.

Afterpay executive vice president and country manager, Katrina Konstas said, “After a turbulent year, Australians are looking forward to celebrating the holiday season. Afterpay’s Festive Forecast report has found that one fifth (20%) are shopping for cheaper gifts this year, and many are refusing to give up the festive spirit – despite economic pressures – with almost one in three (29%) saying they will not have to skip gift giving in favour of daily expenses this year.

“Thankfully, the holiday season doesn’t have to be stressful, with Afterpay offering customers the ability to budget for their purchases and pay in four, fortnightly instalments, allowing Australians to show how much they care for their loved ones, while still sticking to a budget and managing the financial pressure of the holidays.”