40% of Aussies still feel the pain of Christmas overspending

Four in ten Australians are still feeling the pain of Christmas overspending, according to a new "Cost of Christmas" survey undertaken by financial comparison site, Mozo.com.au.

36% of Australians are accruing extra credit card debt or lower savings balances as a result of their generosity – Gen Y were the biggest overspenders while those over 65 were the best budgeters.

Today’s credit card figures prove the point, showing we spent $26.8 billion in December, 8% more than the previous year and brings the average credit card debt to $4,697 per cardholder.

For one in five Australians, the financial consequences of Christmas are so severe they are now struggling to pay regular household expenses, or having to cut back on spending, or both.

”Generosity is one thing but impacting your finances for months to come may have some people questioning whether it was worth it. Interestingly, Women were the least likely to have any festive spending regret”, said Mozo Director Kirsty Lamont.

“It’s an unfortunate consequence and for some credit card holders a lasting one, with 15% needing 6 months or more to pay it back.”

Those aged 18-24 took the biggest festive hit, with 4 in 10 dipping into their savings to cover the cost of Christmas, while 25-44 year olds were the most likely to rack up extra credit card debt.

“The tinsel may be well and truly packed away but the financial aftermath is still being felt for many Aussies,” said Lamont.

A good way to tackle the Christmas credit debt burden could be a Balance Transfer offer suggested Lamont.

“While there are around 100 zero per cent Balance Transfer deals on the market right now, there are also 47 credit cards offering 0% on transferred balances and new purchases. This could be a good way to focus on clearing your debt without being hit with high interest on ongoing purchases,” said Lamont.

Here's a closer look at the results of the "Cost of Christmas" survey:

How long will it take you to pay off your Christmas credit card debt?

I will/have paid it in full without incurring interest


It will take a ‘couple of months’


It will take more than 6 months to repay


Based on survey of 1,005 Australians undertaken by PureProfile between 22-28 January 2015.