Gift-givers urged to ditch the plastic for cash
CREDIT card companies will be the bad Santa for many Ipswich families.
As credit companies ramp up pre-Christmas marketing, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission have urged the region's gift-givers to ditch the plastic for cash.
The reminder follows The Times' special report, which revealed 47% of households faced financial meltdown.
About 82,039 households were unable to raise $2000 in a week to cover a crisis.
At least 31,801 residents have had cash flow problems in the past 12 months.
Australia's credit card debt is about $33 billion, averaging out at $4200 per card holder.
ASIC MoneySmart senior executive leader Miles Larbey said the credit card trap was easily fallen into.
"It can be very tempting to get caught up in the Christmas spirit and spend more than you intended by using the credit card," Mr Larbey said.
"The most important thing is not to spend more than you intend or can afford to repay and this can easily be managed by creating a Christmas budget and sticking to it."
Mr Larbey said there was time before Christmas to avoid getting more debt.
"Have a clear idea of your spending limit by setting a budget for Christmas, which should include all aspects of Christmas spending - from presents, food and travel," he said.
"This will give you a clear idea of what can be afforded so you don't need to rely on the credit card and it will ensure there are no surprises once Christmas is over."