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Christmas lights given the flick as cost of living hits

A composite image of Christmas lights on someones home and Australian $50 notes.
Aussies are ditching the Christmas lights this year as energy bills soar. (Source: Getty)

Christmas is just around the corner, but Aussies aren’t decking the halls as much this year as the rising cost of living puts pressure on household budgets.

A recent survey from i-Link Research, commissioned by iSelect, found more than half of Aussies (51 per cent) who typically use lights to decorate during the festive season wouldn’t be using them this year (or would at least cut back), due to increasing power bills.

The survey also found more than half of Aussies surveyed (58 per cent) were taking steps to reduce Christmas spending this year, given the increased cost of living. Almost a quarter (24 per cent) of those said they were reducing their spending “significantly”.

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iSelect spokesperson Sophie Ryan said the research highlighted the significant impact the rising cost of living was having on many Aussie households, and the lengths many were going to in an effort to save money and reduce their energy bills.

“The lead-up to Christmas is usually a time when Aussie families spend up big to deck the halls and pick out gifts for loved ones,” Ryan said.

“Our recent survey found more than half of Aussies surveyed (55 per cent) estimate their household spends more than $500 on Christmas each year, while one in four (25 per cent) estimate their household spends more than $1,000.”

“If the current cost-of-living climate is spoiling your holiday festivities this year, consider reviewing and switching some common household bills and expenses to see if you could save money there.”

The study also found most Australians surveyed (87 per cent) were worried about the cost of their upcoming summer energy bill, with 15 per cent of those “extremely worried”.Ryan said it was understandable many households who typically used Christmas lights were not this year (or wouldn’t be using as many) as they tried to reduce their power usage.

“While simple steps around the home to lower energy usage can lead to a smaller bill, it’s also

important to review your energy plan to make sure you’re getting a suitable deal,” she said.

“Energy retailers are required to notify you when your current plan expires or changes – including rate increases – and this should be your prompt to shop around to check you’re getting a suitable deal.”

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