Gift giving is one of life’s joys, until the credit card bill comes through.

According to a recent Financial Planning Association of Australia report, 85% of us find more joy in giving gifts to others than in getting them ourselves. Though we love the sound of ripping wrapping paper, almost three quarters of us don’t budget for gifts. 

Here are five ways to keep enjoying – and a firm lid on – spending for the next special occasion. 

1. Have a plan

Weddings are a major outlay, with an average $137 spent on celebrating another’s big day. Most save-the-days go out well in advance, giving plenty of time to shop around for that state of the art toaster. 

As many events such as Christmas, anniversaries and birthdays fall on the same day each year, it should be easy enough to plan well in advance. 

2. Go early and in bulk

Bulk buying multiple gifts that aren’t intended for a specific occasion is a growing trend, with one in three of us saving time and money this way. 

Women (31%) are more likely than men (24%) to be wise to the blessings of the bulk buy, though it’s also popular with young families. 

3. Give the gift of time

There’s more to giving than things you can wrap – experiences matter too. Instead of another power drill, peach-scented candle or ironically-embroidered pillow, your significant other might prefer your company at a favourite restaurant, or a day out at that music festival. 

Given the choice, 61% of us prefer it when others celebrate special occasions by spending quality time with us. It’s particularly popular with Generation Z. More than half of us born between 1995 and 2009 say that receiving an intangible gift such as time, an experience, or learning a new skill has had a more significant impact on shaping their life. 

4. Everybody gather round

Nearly three quarters of us get together to give gifts. As well as reducing individual costs, it harnesses the purchasing power of the collective for something more expensive. 

Getting everyone involved means we can avoid stressing about every last detail. Younger generations prefer to share ideas and more naturally involve themselves in non-material ways such as buying the gift, wrapping it, or writing the card. Older generations have a stronger inclination to simply give cash and leave the rest to someone else. 

5. Australians all let us regift

Some might think it’s a no-no, but 41% of Australians have re-gifted to someone else or for another occasion. Gen Y is the regift generation, although three in five families with young children aged 0-12 (60%) have re-gifted. 

One in five of us still believes they’ve never received a regift. So, remember the golden rule and re-gift responsibly. 

Centra Wealth Group
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Zac Zacharia (Managing Director) has been assisting clients to create wealth and secure their futures for over 14 years.

He is also an accomplished presenter and educator

Co-authoring the popular investment book, Property vs Shares.