As Brisbane's snap three-day lockdown ends just in time for the Easter long weekend, ME Bank's latest Easter Spending Survey found that 73% of Australians are planning to spend on Easter eggs and chocolate rather than on regional or interstate travel.

ME's Money Expert, Matthew Read said this may be indicative of generally more conservative spending mindsets at the moment.

"Despite many Australians spending their Easter in COVID-19 lockdowns last year and most travel restrictions now being lifted, it’s surprising to see spending intentions continuing to lean towards smaller luxuries like chocolate and seafood, instead of regional or interstate travel," Mr Read said

ME's research revealed Aussies are planning to spend an average of $40 on chocolate this year - $16 less than the pre-COVID average of $56.

When Australians were asked to think about their Easter celebrations this year and what they planned to spend money on, the results showed:

  • 73% plan to spend Easter eggs and chocolate
  • 29% plan to spend on seafood or other luxury food items
  • 29% plan to spend on alcohol
  • 17% plan to spend on a regional trip
  • 7% plan to spend on an interstate trip

The bank also asked Australians if they planned on spending more on their celebrations this year, thinking about costs such as travel, food and gifts, and the majority of respondents (64%) indicated they “would not be spending more.”

It appears many households are tightening their budgets these holidays, but there's a wide range of chocolate available at Easter time to suit all price ranges," Mr Read said. 

"It doesn’t need to be an expensive celebration if you set a budget in advance and plan your chocolate shopping haul accordingly."

But other research out today from MyState Bank shows nearly half (40%) of Australians aren't worried about spending money this year, with many looking to splash the cash over Easter.

Nearly a quarter (22%) of Australians surveyed said they are planning to spend more than they normally do at Easter, while over a third (38%) are planning to spend between $100 and $250. 

MyState Bank General Manager of Digital and Marketing Heather McGovern said Australians have been disciplined with their spending over COVID and are keen to loosen the purse strings and enjoy the Easter holiday. 

“We are finally starting to emerge from a tough period, so seeing people wanting to relax and enjoy their hard-earned money is not a surprise," Ms McGovern said.

"What is positive is that very few Australians are reliant upon credit to get through this holiday, putting them in a stronger financial position to continue the rest of 2021."

Only 18% of those surveyed said they would be using a credit card to pay for Easter expenses, while 76% said they would be using cash or direct debit.

Photo by Gabe Pierce on Unplash