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Queenslanders Can Avoid the Christmas Debt Hangover
Queenslanders are more stressed about debt than any other state in Australia, and with Christmas looming, that debt stress is set to get worse, Suncorp Head of Advice Stephen Daly said.
“Over the silly season, there’s a high risk of ending up with a Christmas Debt Hangover,” Mr Daly said, “with 40 per cent of Queenslanders already reporting feeling very stressed about their personal debt, such as credit cards, and their ability to pay off that debt.”
Over the festive season, many Australians will turn to credit to fund Christmas celebrations, where:
· 40 per cent (4 in 10) of 35 to 49 year olds will use credit to cover expenses they couldn't otherwise afford, even though 60% of them feel stressed over their financial situation;
· 25 per cent (one in four) of 50 to 64 year olds will use credit to cover expenses, even though 60% of them feel worried about their financial situation.
“It doesn’t have to be that way,” Mr Daly said.
Suncorp's Top Tips for preventing the Christmas Debt Hangover are:
1. Set a realistic budget within your financial means, and stick to it.
2. Plan ahead for gift purchases – leaving gift buying to the last minute can lead to spending too much in a state of panic.
3. Think about gift buying in the categories of what your loved ones “want”, “need” and “a little luxury” – that way you approach the task of gift-buying in a more considered way.
“These simple tips can mean the difference between blowing out your budget in December, and paying it off over years in high interest, or removing the debt-stress for Queenslanders,”
Queenslanders could re-think Christmas as a special time of year to spend quality time with loved ones, rather than being measured by the amount spent on presents.
“It might seem like a great idea to give your loved one the iPad they’ve always wanted, but if you can’t afford it, the stress of the debt isn’t worth it. Our planners see people in January and debt can often be a cause of unnecessary stress when families over-extend themselves in December,” Mr Daly said.
Helen Han, Senior Media Adviser, Suncorp Life
T: 0457 535 639 / E: firstname.lastname@example.org
1 Newspoll online survey November 2011 of 1,219 adults aged 18-64. The sample was post-weighted using population data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics based on a population of 14,219,000 adults aged 18-64.
2 On average, Australians spend around $1,000 or more on presents and food at Christmas time (source: The Australia Institute).
3 D&B Consumer Credit Expectations Survey December quarter 2012.