Shoppers don’t do themselves credit
26 October 2006, MX
More than two-thirds of city workers had not been able to significantly reduce personal debt in the past three months, a survey found.
A Newspoll survey commissioned by the debt relief company Fox Symes also found that 14% said debt were worse.
The survey of 1200 Australians found 20% said the ability to pay had worsened.
It comes after the Reserve Bank revealed Australia's credit card bill reached $37 billion in August - or $2,281 per card.
Australians charged $16.46 billion to 13 million credit cards during that month while repayments totaled 16.68 billion.
Cash advances from credit cards fell by 4.4%.
But the $20 billion owed at the start of the month was only slightly reduced.
Debt relief expert Deborah Southon said almost a third of people increased debt after buying a new car or signing up for a new subscription service.
A growing number of people admitted to buying essential items on credit because they had no cash.
"The fact that Australians are listing cost-of-living items, live groceries, as a reason for falling into debt, should sound alarm bells in households across the country." Southon said.
Workers should spend five minutes of their train trip home to keep a spending diary.
"Reflect on the rain what you have spent and keep a diary for a week or month, people might be surprised about the unexpected costs." Southon said. Shoppers should not rely on credit to buy Christmas gifts.