SAVVY SPENDING OVER HOLIDAY SEASON

SAVVY SPENDING OVER HOLIDAY SEASON

DEBT was paid off quicker than usual over the holiday season, despite Australians increasing expenditure and purchasing beyond their means.

According to financial planning service Pocketbook’s Christmas Spending study, debt spending increased by 10 per cent in December with credit reigning as the standard payment option.

While 60 per cent of Australians spent more than they earned and discretionary spending doubled in December compared to the months leading up, consumers largely stayed atop of their finances.

Like a holiday miracle, debt was paid off sooner than usual – before the month was out.

Tradition also triumphed, with many Australians still showing a preference for physical stores.

Co-founder of Pocketbook Bosco Tan says offline retail spending doubled in December, while typically successful online retailers didn't fare as well.

The average purchase offline amounted to $80, compared to the average online order of $55.

Tan also drew on David Jones climb of 32 per cent and Myer’s of 28 per cent, contrasted against a 16 per cent reduction for popular e-tailers ASOS and The Iconic.

“This is evidence Australians are still looking for last minute gifts at physical stores and love going out shopping, rather than clicking on Boxing Day sales online,” says Tan.

Goodwill and festive cheer drove the extra spending over the holiday season, with gifts and entertainment accounting for much of the expenditure.

The 2013 Pocketbook Christmas Spending study drew from the Pocketbook Apollo database with a sample of 17,700 Australians.

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