Consumerism at Christmas: How Much Do We Really Spend?


Christmas can be a stressful time of year – from searching for the perfect gift for family & friends to putting up your decorations and preparing your house for the arrival of guests and of course, the cooking of the Turkey & Ham! Every year, we end up spending more & more on Christmas and each year swearing to ourselves we won’t do the same the next year. For the majority of the month of December we are constantly saying “I’ll start my shopping next week” and more often than not, we are popping into the shops in a panic on the 21st December and buying all our last minute bits, not knowing most of the time who they’re even for but impulse buying ‘just in case’. Spur of the moment purchases somehow give us the peace of mind that we are well prepared, but once the New Year comes around, we are looking at our bank accounts in shock after being over-generous with gifts and buying too many pints in the local pub on St. Stephens Day.  Every year, we promise we will be more organised next year – but how much do we really spend in the month of December and do we ever watch what we’re spending?



According to the Christmas Retail Monitor 2018 “With growing disposable income, rising wage levels and continually falling prices, the spending power of Irish consumers is greater now than at any stage in the last decade” – it shows we’re all now willing to spend more and between online & in store transactions. The PWC Retail & Consumer Report of 2018 conducted a survey which resulted in 31% of consumers feeling they would NOT spend more in 2018 than they did in 2017 - but according to the Christmas Retail Monitor 2018 it predicts that Irish households will spend up to €2,690 in total in the month of December– this is a 3% increase from last year’s figures and making it the most expensive month of the year. This is in comparison to the prediction that on average, an Irish household will spend €860 in any other month of the year.



In Ireland, the official day for Christmas shopping to commence has always been the 8th December, with many people from rural parts of Ireland travelling to Dublin City to get their Christmas shopping done. Now, with times changing and the digital age in full swing, we know indulge heavily in addictive holidays such as ‘Black Friday’ & ‘Cyber Monday’. Black Friday originated from the United States and isn’t a public holiday but more so celebrated as a shopping day as it’s the day after Thanksgiving. Irish people have contributed to turning this American in-store promotional day to now, a world-wide digital phenomenon.  According to PWC Black Friday & Christmas Survey 2018, 98% of Irish people are now away of this occasion with ONE FIFTH definitely going to shop and 56% are still considering it. These numbers are high and showing we are willing to get ahead of the game with 15% planning to do all their Christmas shopping on these days.  



Overall, it’s clear we still over spend, regardless of the intentions of trying to budget and get ahead of the game with the likes of Black Friday & Cyber Monday sales. With all the panic and stress of gifts and food shopping, sometimes we can spend more than anticipated but reflecting on these figures of how much we actually over spend buy, it’s important to try take a step back for Christmas 2019. We want to hear from you! Let us know when you start your Christmas shopping on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn – we’d love to get an idea of how prepared you are this year!



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