35.5 M Filipinos planning to cut costs this Christmas – survey

Published September 24, 2020, 6:00 AM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

Majority of Filipinos (52%) will be tightening the purse strings this Christmas, which could push holiday sales substantially lower, a survey said.

According to new research by global financial comparison website Finder.com, 52 percent of Filipinos aged 18 and above – equivalent to 35.5 million people – are planning to spend less money on Christmas compared to last year.

The new survey of 2,018 respondents revealed that those planning to spend less are reducing their budget by almost a third on average (31%). With last year’s Christmas spend averaging around P17,000 per person, this means a forecast spend of P11,781 per adult (P5,219 less).

The flow on effect will hit retailers and service providers, costing them an estimated P95 billion in reduced sales. Reduced consumer spending this Christmas will weigh on the economy with our estimates suggesting retailers and service providers could lose more than P95 billion.

Those aged 55–64 are most likely to say they’re cutting costs this Christmas (62%), followed by 45- to 54-year-olds (59%) and those aged 25–34 (56%). On the other end of the spectrum, 18- to 24-year-olds are the least likely to be cutting costs (48%), followed closely by those aged 65 and above (50%). Women and men are almost just as likely to reduce their Christmas spending with a difference of only 1 percentage point at 53% and 52% respectively.

 Of the 10 countries included in the survey, the Philippines had the second highest percentage of people planning to cut costs, behind only South Africa (56%). Just behind Filipinos are Hong Kongese and Indians (47% each), Canadians (43%) and Irish (42%). The countries with the lowest number planning to cut their Christmas expenses are Australians (37%), followed by Kiwis (39%) and Americans (40%).

Susannah Binsted, money specialist at Finder, said some people are cutting costs harder than others.

Binsted said that about one in five (22%) will at least halve their annual Christmas outlay, while 16% plan to reduce spending by just 5%.

“The “ber” months have come which means Christmas has already started in the Philippines. There may be only three months left until the actual holiday, but this is still enough time to create a feasible budget and work out your savings strategy.

Finder has suggested planning ahead or shopping early to save big bucks and reduce stress. This should also spread the cost over a number of months rather than holding out until December.