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8.1 million Aussies financially stressed this Christmas, but The Salvos are here to help

9 December 2020

After the devastating financial and emotional impacts of COVID-19, bushfires and drought this year, more than 8.1 million Aussies (41%) are feeling financially stressed this Christmas, making The Salvation Army’s work during the festive season more important than ever.

One in three (32.7%) Australians have felt financial pressures and stress significantly impact their lives this year and 38% are more stressed about their finances compared to last year – demonstrating the widespread impact of COVID-19.

The research, undertaken by Pureprofile for The Salvation Army’s Christmas Appeal, also reveals:

  • More people are feeling anxious (32%), depressed (25%), lonely (29%), stressed (36%) and uncertain (38%), when compared with last year
  • 5.1 million Australians (26%) are more concerned about being able to pay for Christmas expenses this year compared to 2019, with 23% feeling pressure to spend more than they can afford this Christmas
  • More than 1 in 8 Aussies (13%) will go into debt this Christmas
  • 2.1 million Australians (11%) are concerned their children will miss out on food and basic living necessities this Christmas, with 1.9 million (10%) concerned their children will miss out on presents

“It’s obvious that it has been a huge year, with many people really struggling financially and emotionally. We want to let people know that The Salvos are here for anyone who needs a hand this Christmas,” says Major Bruce Harmer, Salvation Army Head of Public Relations.

At Christmas, The Salvation Army will distribute more than 30,000 hampers and vouchers, give out more than 500,000 gifts and toys and support more than 50,000 families in need. The Salvos will also provide more than 130,000 meals, more than 65,000 beds for those who need a place to stay and provide more than 7,600 families with accommodation during the festive season.

The Salvos are encouraging Australians to give generously to the Christmas Appeal to help ensure that no one is in need this Christmas. Donations can be made by clicking here or calling 13 SALVOS (13 72 58).

The research also showed that Australians will spend less on food (28%), presents (33%) and family activities (40%). Tragically, 1.1 million (6%) Australians will go without any food this Christmas and 15% will be going without presents altogether.

“Christmas is the busiest time of the year for The Salvos, and this year we expect it to be our biggest ever. We provide millions of dollars’ worth of hampers, community meals and financial assistance to those in need, to make sure that everyone can have a very special Christmas,” says Major Bruce Harmer.

Despite the challenges of 2020, 76% of Australians are looking forward to Christmas, 74% are looking forward to spending time with family and friends, and 60% feel that Christmas is more important than ever this year.

“After a devastating year, this Christmas really is more important than ever. The Salvos encourage Australians to be reminded about what really matters at Christmas, focusing on the values of peace, joy and hope this year.”

“We know that not everyone is in the position to have a special Christmas this year, which is why we do what we do. If you need a hand this Christmas, please reach out to us, and if you are in a position to support, then please donate to our Christmas Appeal,” said Major Harmer.

This year, through our frontline mission, The Salvation Army have helped more than 80,000 people impacted by COVID-19, providing over $10 million worth of financial assistance.

Research at a glance

  • 76% are looking forward to Christmas
  • 60% feel that Christmas is more important than ever this year
  • 41% are feeling financially stressed about Christmas 
  • 26% said that compared to last year, they were more concerned about being able to pay for Christmas expenses this year
  • 23% feel pressure to spend more than they can afford at Christmas 
  • 13% said they will go into debt to pay for Christmas 
  • 28% will spend less on food for Christmas this year, compared to last year 
  • 33% will spend less on presents for Christmas this year, compared to last year
  • 49% will spend less on holidays for Christmas this year, compared to last year
  • 40% will spend less on family activities for Christmas this year, compared to last year
  • 6% said they will go without food this Christmas 
  • 15% said they will go without presents for family members this Christmas 
  • 10% are concerned their children will miss out on presents this Christmas 
  • 11% are concerned their children will miss out on food and basic living necessities this Christmas
  • 9% said they will be reaching out to a charity for help at Christmas 
  • 26% said they know where to go for financial support this Christmas 
  • 32% feel more anxiety compared to last year 
  • 25% feel more depression compared to last year 
  • 29% feel more loneliness compared to last year 
  • 36% feel more stress compared to last year 
  • 38% feel more uncertainty compared to last year 
  • 20% rated their mental health negatively
  • 38% are more stressed about their finances compared to last year
  • 32% said financial hardship has impacted their family and close friends this past 12 months
  • 34% are worried about their job security in 2021
  • 19% are pessimistic about their circumstances for 2021

The Pureprofile research involved 2001 respondents, representing 19.8 million Australians aged 18 plus.

The Salvation Army acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the lands and waters throughout Australia. We pay our respect to Elders and acknowledge their continuing relationship to this land and the ongoing living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across Australia.

The Salvation Army is a child safe organisation that is committed to ensuring the wellbeing of children and young people, and protecting them from harm.

salvationarmy.org.au

13 SALVOS (13 72 58)

Gifts of $2 or more to the social work of The Salvation Army in Australia are tax deductible.Details and ABNs

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