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Millions to go into debt to fund Christmas

Christmas is always an expensive period and this year households are feeling the pinch, with one in four going into debt to fund festivities.

November 29, 2022
By Poppy Johnston
29 November 2022

Almost a quarter of Australian consumers are prepared to slide into debt to cover the festive season as cost of living pressures weigh on household budgets.

Thirteen per cent of Australians will reach for a credit card to pay for gifts and other holiday spending, Finder data shows, with another nine per cent planning to leverage buy now, pay later credit.

“It’s been a hard year for many, so coming up short for cash is nothing to be embarrassed about,” Finder money expert Rebecca Pike said.

“While it might seem like a good idea at the time, using credit as a means of funding the holiday season if you don’t have the cash readily available will only come back to bite you.”

The value of purchases made using credit cards hit another record high in September, increasing 31 per cent in 12 months.

More than half of the 1054 people surveyed will reach into their savings to fund the holiday season. 

Another 20 per cent don’t expect to spend anything extra during the period.

Small businesses are also concerned about the holiday period, with about half worried they won’t meet their summer sales targets.

The Xero survey found 28.1 per cent of small businesses were worried the cost of new supplies and equipment would leave them short on their sales targets. 

Weekly consumer confidence figures are also due on Tuesday, with the increasingly popular Black Friday sales likely to show up in the scores.

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