Aust to spend $8.5 bln this Xmas
Market watch top headlines
SYDNEY, Dec 16 AAP
December 16 2012, 1:03PM
Australians are expected to spend about $8.5 billion on Christmas presents this festive season, with almost a third admitting to feeling pressured to spend more than they can afford, a survey says.
A report from financial comparison company RateCity found each Australian adult planned to spend $511 on average during Christmas.
More than half - or 51 per cent of respondents - said they were going to pay for their gifts using credit cards, the report said.
RateCity spokeswoman Michelle Hutchison said those giving the plastic a workout ahead of the holiday period should be aware of the high interest rates on many credit cards.
"Australians need to be careful with using credit cards to pay for Christmas presents because if you're not prepared for how to pay back the debt, it could cost significantly more than planned," Ms Hutchison said in a statement.
"Christmas shopping can ruin your financial outcomes for the following year."
Of those using credit cards, 81 per cent of respondents said they would pay off the balance during the interest-free period.
At the other end of the scale, 11 per cent said they intended to make just the minimum repayment while six per cent said they "don't know how they will pay back their credit card debt".
Figures from RateCity showed it would take almost three years and cost about $129 in interest to pay back a credit card debt of $511 if someone made only the minimum repayment each month.
The survey found 31 per cent of people felt pressure to spend more money than they could afford on Christmas presents.
The response to this question was greatest among those aged 18-24, with 43 per cent in that age group admitting they felt they had to spend more money than they had.
The survey of 1,000 Australian adults between November 28 and December 3 was conducted by Your Source on behalf of RateCity.