Australian women were less reliant on their credit cards this past festive season, spending about $500 less than men.
But despite having lower balances, many women seem to lack confidence when it comes to paying down credit card debt in a speedy fashion.
According to a survey of about 2000 people by financial product comparison website finder.com.au, Australian men came back from holidays with an average $2,934 in debt compared to $2,418 for women.
Collectively, about $7.5 billion was amassed in credit card debt over the holiday break. That’s a whopping $180 million in interest payments.
The survey also found that of those people who paid off their credit card debt in under a month, 58 per cent of them were men, compared to 53 per cent of women.
A further 11 per cent of women thought it would take them more than 12 months to pay off their holiday debt versus 8 per cent of men.
This potentially reflects the fact that the average woman earns less than her male peers in Australia in certain sectors.
Australians accrued an average of $2,705 on their credit cards while on holidays in 2016, taking on average just under six months to pay off their debt.
Finder.com.au spokesperson Bessie Hassan is urging credit card holders with debt to consider a 0 per cent balance transfer credit card to get their finances under control.
Currently, there are around 160 credit cards on the market with a zero per cent balance transfer option.
“Australians have accrued $180 million in credit card interest from holidays over the past year, 77 per cent more than the $140 million in 2015, with one in 38 travellers worried that they’ll never be able to pay off their trip,” says Ms Hassan.
“Australians are known to enjoy their holidays by spending up big on their hard earned breaks, but a carefree holiday can quickly turn into a financial nightmare if they don’t pay it back when returning home.”
Shopping sprees were revealed as the biggest holiday blowout, with more than one in three respondents or 35 per cent, splurging cash at the shops on their getaway.
One in four people used their credit cards for luxury accommodation.
One in five Australian travellers splurged on flashy restaurants, while one in 10 said they splashed out on once in a lifetime events, like a sporting match or concert, while holidaying.