Cost of living crisis dampens family Christmas cheer

By William Ton
Updated November 22 2023 - 2:55pm, first published 2:50pm
The Salvation Army aims to raise $25 million this festive season to support those in need. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS)
The Salvation Army aims to raise $25 million this festive season to support those in need. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS)

This Christmas, one in three Australian adults is forecast to go into debt.

The cost-of-living crisis is leaving more people in financial stress as they head into the festive season.

More than 12.8 million adults or 62 per cent are ending their year worried about their finances compared to about 50 per cent last year, according to research for The Salvation Army.

It found 31 per cent of adults are seeking to use a credit card to pay for Christmas expenses, up from 18 per cent last year.

The number of Australians planning on spending money they don't already have through buy-now, pay-later services has also doubled to 15 per cent.

The charity is expecting a surge in the number of people seeking support this year and the Salvation Army's Andrew Hill is asking for the public to donate to its annual Christmas Appeal.

"People are really struggling this year, meaning Christmas will make things even tougher," he said.

"People are at breaking point - and it hurts."

One in four Aussie adults will struggle to put food on the table this Christmas while about one in three will find it difficult to pay for utilities or rent.

For those who will reach out for help this Christmas, Mr Hill expects almost half will be doing so for the first time.

The charity is aiming to raise $25 million this festive season to support those in need.

Last year, it provided more than 66,000 bed nights for families in need of accommodation and over 132,000 meals.

Australian Associated Press

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