Qlders bad Xmas spending habits revealed

With Christmas just around the corner, disturbing new RACQ research has revealed almost 60 percent of Queenslanders admit they rely on credit cards to cover the cost of presents and expenses over the festive season.

The survey found two out of three consumers used a credit card or loan facility to cover some or all of the costs for gifts for those closest to them, rather than accessing savings or stashed away cash. 

RACQ Bank spokesperson Lucinda Ross said it was alarming because it showed a large percentage of everyday Queenslanders couldn’t afford their holiday season costs.

“With cost of living pressures on the rise, it’s worrying almost 50 percent of us said we can’t afford the cost of Christmas comfortably and are instead putting it on credit, and spending money they don’t have,” Ms Ross said. 

“It feels good to give, but this shouldn’t mean you’re putting yourself in further debt or living beyond your means to show love to family and friends.” 

Ms Ross said the survey also revealed almost 70 percent of Queenslanders either didn’t set a Christmas budget, or couldn’t stick to it, spending more than they had planned to over the festive season.

“It’s important to think ahead, save as much as you can, stick to your budget, and only spend what you can actually afford by not maxing out your available credit and loan facilities,” she said. 

“As Christmas fast approaches, many people will be wishing they had started preparing earlier by saving or putting aside money for when it comes to crunch time. 

“We recommend sitting down and thinking about what you really need to spend money on over the festive season. 

“By creating a budget and savings plan that works for you, there’ll be less hip pocket stress and you won’t find yourself having to use credit that you’ll then need to pay back later, along with extra interest you may be charged.”