A new report from comparison website finder.com.au has revealed how Australians will manage their spending over the Christmas period.
According to the report, 40 per cent of Australians will use some form of debt to fund their Christmas shopping. With the average Aussie spending $539 on gifts alone this Christmas, over $215 per person will be funded by credit, which is around $3.9 billion nationwide.
The finder.com.au survey of 2,027 Australians discovered the majority of Australians (75 per cent) will use some form of cash or savings for Christmas purchases.
However, more than one in three (36 per cent) will pay with credit card, while 4 per cent of cash-strapped Aussies will use loans to pay for the festive season.
Three percent of respondents are relying on a Christmas bonus from work to cover Christmas costs.
Finder’s money expert Bessie Hassan says shoppers need to make sure they’re capable of repaying their borrowed debt after the festive spending season.
“It’s a time for giving, but don’t get caught up in the theatrics of Christmas and remember to keep an eye on your expenditure so you don’t wind up with debt you can’t afford to service,” she says.
“For those planning to use a credit card to cover Christmas expenses, a little bit of homework can make a big difference to how quickly and comfortably you repay the debt. For instance, it could be worth looking into 0 per cent purchase balance transfer options or even reward credit cards as these can be useful when used responsibly.
Analysis of new Reserve Bank data forecasts that the national credit card spend this December will top $28 billion for the first time, the highest monthly figure on record.
[Related: Rising cost of living triggers 'Thriftmas']
James Mitchell has over eight years’ experience as a financial reporter and is the editor of Wealth and Wellness at Momentum Media.
He has a sound pedigree to cover the business of mortgages and the converging financial services sector having reported for leading finance titles InvestorDaily, InvestorWeekly, Accountants Daily, ifa, Mortgage Business, Residential Property Manager, Real Estate Business, SMSF Adviser, Smart Property Investment, and The Adviser.
He has also been published in The Daily Telegraph and contributed online to FST Media and Mergermarket, part of the Financial Times Group.
James holds a BA (Hons) in English Literature and an MA in Journalism.
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