Merry Debtmas: Kiwis experiencing anxiety over their Christmas debts

Too much christmas shopping debt
Monday, January 20, 2020

There’s post-Christmas debt anxiety according to the latest research by Opinion Compare with over a quarter (26%) of the New Zealand population spending more on Christmas than they planned to. 

 

A national survey of n=523 New Zealanders found the average spend on Christmas was $769 with a variety of methods used to finance the festive season, including savings and buy now, pay later services.

Table: Methods Used to Help Pay For Christmas

 

1

Use money from a savings account

31%

2

Use an ‘after-pay’ service when making purchases (e.g. AfterPay, Zip, MyLayBuy, etc.)

24%

3

Taking out a new credit card

15%

4

Applying for a personal loan

10%

5

Using a traditional store ‘lay-by’ service when making purchases

6%

6

Borrowing money from family / friends

5%

 

The Christmas accumulation of debt affected 1 in 5 Kiwis when asked about the level of debt Christmas caused, with this portion of the Kiwi population estimating their debt was on average $552.  Of more concern is the level of anxiety this debt is causing with 57% of people who feel like they are in debt, stating it’s causing them anxiety.

Despite this anxiety, there’s plans to pay off the debt with half nominating better budgeting as their option.

Table: Plans to Pay Off Debt

 

1

Build a budget

50%

2

Snowball method (paying off small debts first)

28%

3

Pick up additional work

19%

4

Sell assets

9%

5

Receive financial help from family/friends

4%

6

Investing funds

3%

 

Gavin Male, Managing Director, said “This builds on research we carried out prior to Christmas showing that it can be a stressful time of the year and the repercussions are evident in this research with anxiety about post-Christmas debt.  The good news is that there’s determination to get rid of the debt by being more frugal throughout the year via building budgets or taking systematic financial approaches to recover their debt.”

Male continues, “One of the most effective ways to pay down debt is to reduce your outgoings on the bigger household bills.  Your mortgage payments or power and broadband bills may be some of the areas people can save money.  NZ Compare (www.nzcompare.com) has a range of websites to help people make a fully informed choice on their providers, compare all types of options for free and save money on all these types of household bills.  There are some really great savings to be made and it takes just minutes to check.”

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