Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

It's a Hangover, Jim, but Not as We Know It; the Honeymoon Is over for Australian Consumers. It's Time to Tighten the Belt. and the Best Way to Do This and Avoid Any More Fiscal Hangovers Is to Leave the Credit Card at Home

Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

It's a Hangover, Jim, but Not as We Know It; the Honeymoon Is over for Australian Consumers. It's Time to Tighten the Belt. and the Best Way to Do This and Avoid Any More Fiscal Hangovers Is to Leave the Credit Card at Home

Article excerpt

Byline: WEDNESDAY With Leonie Brann

TONIGHT is New Year's Eve and tomorrow a good majority of Tweed residents will be nursing a hangover due to overindulgence.

But it might not be the demon drink and a late night that is the cause of that ill feeling in the stomach, or a booming headache, it may be the realisation that after many years of prosperity, our nation faces tough times in 2009.

Too much food and wine isn't the only reason for post-Christmas hangovers, with present buying and a splurge at the Boxing Day sales drying up bank accounts and often leading to large amounts of debt for some consumers.

According to a survey by credit checking company Veda Advantage, more than 70 per cent of Australians surveyed planned to use at least some kind of credit to make their Christmas purchases.

It also found that more than one in 10 would rely solely on credit to pay for their festive fun, with many saying they would be unable to pay off the debt within their credit card's interest-free period and would face high interest charges, with the average rate being about 17 per cent.

Australians spent more than $38 billion in the lead-up to Christmas, according to the Retailers Association and more than $7 billion was expected to be splurged on Boxing Day sales.

Considering Australia's population is just above 21.5 million people, according to the Bureau of Statistics that means $176.36 was spent for every Aussie in the pre-Christmas period and $32.50 per person in the Boxing Day sales.

Add those two figures together and at least $45 billion, or $208.86 was spent for every man, woman and child in Australia, pre- and post-Christmas.

This splurging could have been prompted by the Rudd Government's $10.4 billion Economic Security Strategy that saw Centrelink pay more than $8.7 billion in bonuses to families and pensioners at the start of the month. …

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