Finder makes money from featured partners, but editorial opinions are our own.

It’s beginning to look a lot like debtmas: 5 million Aussies will put Christmas on credit

Christmas spending_GettyImages_1800x1000

Aussies are going into debt to fund the silly season, according to new research by Finder.

A nationally representative survey of 1,054 respondents revealed 24% will rely on some form of credit to cover the cost of Christmas this year – equivalent to 4.8 million Aussies who will be pushed into debt this festive season.

The research found 13% will depend on their credit card, while 9% will turn to buy now pay later services for expenses incurred.

The majority of Australians (53%) will rely on their savings – equivalent to 10.6 million people.

According to Finder's RBA Cash Rate Survey, 3 in 4 (76%, 19/25) experts say Aussies are more likely to turn to credit cards and BNPL to fund the festive season compared to last year.

This may not lead to a bumper year of spending as just over half (55%, 16/29) said Christmas spending would be lower than previous years.

Rebecca Pike, money expert at Finder, said the rising cost of living has pushed Australians to dive into their savings or think of going beyond their means this silly season.

"It's been a hard year for many, so coming up short for cash is nothing to be embarrassed about.

"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, could come back to bite you."

With the cost of living skyrocketing, Finder research also reveals almost three-quarters (72%) of Australians are taking some action to save money in the lead-up to Christmas – equivalent to 14.4 million who are feeling the pinch.

More than 1 in 10 (11%) have taken on a second job or side hustle to cover the cost.

Pike said the holiday season is short-lived but debt can take ages to pay off so you could be left paying the price long after the tree has been put away.

"Festive spending can lead to new year blues.

"Avoid blowing your budget by setting up a credit limit you'll be able to pay off.

"If you find yourself struggling to pay off debt in the new year, speak to your bank or provider to see what support is available," Pike said.

How do you primarily plan on funding this holiday season?
I don't plan on buying anything for the holiday season20%
Credit card13%
Buy now pay later (e.g. Afterpay)9%
Personal loan1%
Refinancing my home loan1%
Source: Finder survey of 1,054 respondents, October 2022
What are you doing to save on the cost of the holiday season?
Buying food/presents early38%
Shopping during the sales season (Black Friday, Cyber Monday, etc.)25%
Implementing a gift limit with loved ones (e.g. price limit, only buying for one person, etc.)25%
I'm not preparing for the cost of the holiday season19%
I have opened a holiday season savings account/started saving already13%
I have started a side hustle/side job11%
Making gifts10%
I don't celebrate the holiday season9%
I'm not exchanging presents this year7%
Source: Finder survey of 1,054 Australians, October 2022
*Respondents could select all that apply

For more information on how Australians will be spending their money this holiday season, check out Finder's Christmas spending statistics page.

Ask a Question

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our 1. Terms Of Service and 6. Finder Group Privacy & Cookies Policy.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Go to site