PayPal study reveals 64 per cent of people happy to contribute to festive party costs this Christmas

With the countdown to Christmas well and truly on, PayPal’s 2022 Gifting & Giving Study1 reveals how four in five (83%) are worried about items being much more expensive this Christmas and 76 per cent are concerned about keeping track of their spending.

Based on a poll of 1,000 adults across Ireland, this year’s research explores how people in Ireland are managing their budgets in light inflation and runaway energy bills, from savvy spending to splitting the bill for Christmas dinner. 

Tis the season to save money

When it comes to gift-buying, a third (29%) of people plan to spend more this year to bring joy to family and friends, while the rest are thinking of cost-effective ways to balance their festive finances.  Eight in ten (80%) will look for coupons and discounts.

Almost a third (32%) will buy a big present as a group and split the cost, rather than buying lots of little presents and over half (54%) want to do Secret Santa/Kris Kindle as it’s less expensive. Furthermore, 68 per cent will only buy gifts when they see something the person will like, and a quarter (25%) will order all their presents online.

Alongside all money-saving measures, more than half (59%) will be setting a strict budget and sticking to it this Christmas. Unsurprisingly, the average spend on Christmas presents is estimated to be lower than last year – €647 compared to €7212. Although this is still higher than lockdown Christmas budgets, where the average spend was estimated at €541.

The research found that people from Kerry are set to be generous this year when it comes to buying Christmas presents (with an estimated average spend of €1,183), followed by Laois (€908) and Offaly (€878).

Adopting a smart and savvy approach is also seeping into festive celebrations, with the survey revealing that for more than half of people (55%), Christmas celebrations this year are changing to save on costs.

Splitting the cost of celebrations is set to be a popular approach with nearly two-thirds (64%) of people happy to contribute to the costs of a friend or family member’s festive party, and 50 per cent agreeing that the cost of hosting Christmas dinner should be split between family members.

Splitting the bill for Christmas celebrations

Each December, the pressure of Christmas can get to all of us. It doesn’t take much for the financial strain to show and it all culminates in the big split. That’s right – splitting the bill. The poll found that two thirds (67%) of people have felt awkward to ask for money they were owed so decided not to mention it.

Furthermore, some 64 per cent of people said they had not been paid back by friends in the past and a third (33%) of those surveyed said they had forgotten to pay a friend back. Taking this one step further, 16 per cent of people admitted to telling someone they had paid them back when they hadn’t. It seems these actions are also causing friction in some instances, with almost a fifth (19%) of those surveyed saying they had fallen out with friends over difficulty when splitting bills or paying people back.

The insights revealed that, on average, people in Ireland pay others back after five days. Gen Z (aged 16-24) were found to be the slowest when paying people back (7.3 days), while Boomers (aged 45-54) were the fastest group for paying people back, taking 1.86 days on average. In terms of a county breakdown, the slowest people to organise payback were from Meath (12.65 days), Sligo (11.21 days) and Limerick (10.57 days).

So how can you ensure a successful bill split? More than three quarters of respondents (79%) agreed that digital payment apps make splitting bills easier, with the most used/popular method for paying people back found to be digital money transfer apps like PayPal (34%). The main benefits of paying people back digitally rather than in cash were found to be that it saves time as its quick (47%), it’s more convenient (43%), and there’s proof of payment (34%).

Speaking about the findings, Maeve Dorman, Senior Vice President, PayPal: “Christmas is always about spreading joy and happiness, whether it’s hosting celebrations or giving gifts. While this year will be no different, it’s clear that people are finding ways to balance the festivities with their finances.

“Sharing the load by splitting the cost is a great option. Using digital wallets like PayPal make it easy, quick, and secure to politely request and sending payments, while still creating group memories and spreading joy.”

Find out more about splitting costs with PayPal here. 

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