Christmas is such a joyous time to spend time with family and friends although it appears that every year we actually spend more money during the holiday season.
The expense is not only for gifts, although that does it the largest slice of the (mince) pie; everything from your immediate loved ones, to friends, co-workers, neighbours, teachers, carers and educators as well as the inevitable Kris Kringle. Many of us are splurging more on decorations, food, alcohol, parties, special clothing, entertaining, Uber Rides and Taxis – – the list really does seem never-ending!
Worryingly, an alarming number of Aussies are planning to pay for their festive spending with credit facilities.
Many people have no budget at all for Christmas however, it seems that does not stop us from handing over the plastic. Some of this may be attributed to the increasing popularity of online shopping where credit cards and ‘buy now, pay later’ services are so easily utilised.
For those who are not aware, retailers are frequently spruiking an instalment-payment-system whereby you can have your goods immediately, but the total cost is split evenly over, usually, 4 fortnightly payments. There are numerous operators out there in this burgeoning market although the most recognisable are ‘AfterPay’ and Zip Money’.
These payment providers do have advantages such as effecting a ‘bill smoothing’ approach to buying goods and no interest if the instalment plan is met but there is a flip side. The proverb ‘’out of sight, out of mind’ rings true… it is easy to forget about the 4 fortnightly payments once you have walked out the shop. Also, in the event of returning an item it can be troublesome when you have not fully paid for the item so you may be left with a store credit note and feeling dissatisfied with your remaining payments. The scary thing is that those who may have already maxxed out their credit or are even now struggling with unmanageable debt, these buy now, pay later schemes may just be too tempting to resist in the pressure of the season.
All of these are contributory factors increasing the debt stress of Christmas and extending the time we end up paying for it.
At Life After Debt ® we find that December and January are a peak period for those who find themselves debt-stressed. We provide a free assessment of your debt solution options, including how to avoid debt collection, legal action and harassment. Debt relief is only a phone call away – 1300 237 669 – or visit lifeafterdebt.com.au to read our case studies and gain further information.